The Ensign Group Announces Expansion Into Southern Utah

Aug 02, 2011, 05:01 ET from The Ensign Group, Inc.

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ensign Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENSG), the parent company of the Ensign™ group of skilled nursing, rehabilitative care services, hospice care and assisted living companies, announced today that it has acquired Hurricane Health and Rehabilitation Center, a 48-bed skilled nursing facility in Hurricane, Utah. The asset acquisition was effective on Monday, August 1, 2011.

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"We look forward to building on the outstanding foundation of quality care that has been the hallmark of the prior operator's reputation, and achieved by the superb staff we are inheriting," said Tyler Hoopes, Hurricane's newly-appointed Executive Director. Mr. Hoopes is a veteran Ensign leader who has recently rejoined the organization to lead its expansion into the dynamic Southern Utah market. "We are committed to continuing and advancing the wonderful work already underway here, to meet and exceed the clinical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of each resident, staff member and family," he added.

"We expect the Southern Utah expansion to pave the way for additional disciplined growth in Utah, Nevada and Northern Arizona," said Christopher Christensen, Ensign's President and Chief Executive Officer. He noted that Ensign typically seeks well-performing "platform facilities" when entering new markets, and affirmed that the Hurricane facility fits Ensign's new-market criteria "quite nicely."

Hurricane is part of the dynamic St. George market in Southern Utah, which has long been a vibrant and growing magnet area for seniors and retirees, and an attractive target market for Ensign. The facility will be operated by a subsidiary of Milestone Healthcare, Inc., Ensign's Northern-Utah-based portfolio company. Hurricane Health had an occupancy rate of approximately 75% at acquisition, and is expected to be operationally accretive to earnings starting immediately. It was purchased with cash.

Ensign also announced today that it has acquired two other long-term care facilities, both as of August 1, 2011. The first, Oceanview Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, is a 134-bed skilled nursing facility in Texas, City Texas, which will be operated by a subsidiary of Ensign's Texas-based Keystone Care, Inc. portfolio company. Oceanview had an occupancy rate of approximately 70% at acquisition, and is expected to be operationally accretive to earnings in 2011. Oceanview was purchased with cash.

The second, Lakeland Hills Independent & Assisted Living Community, is a 167-unit assisted and independent living facility in Dallas, Texas. It will be operated by a subsidiary of Bridgestone Living, Inc., Ensign's seniors housing subsidiary. Bridgestone and Ensign have expanded Ensign's assisted and independent living base at an accelerated pace over the past twelve months, with significant acquisitions in Denver, Colorado, Ventura, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, Abilene, Texas, Salt Lake City, Utah, and now Dallas. Bridgestone expects operations in the Lakeland property, which had an occupancy rate of approximately 89% at acquisition, to be accretive to Ensign earnings starting immediately. Ensign purchased the Lakeland facility with cash.

Mr. Christensen reaffirmed that Ensign is actively seeking additional opportunities to acquire both well-performing and struggling long-term care operations across the United States. The acquisitions bring Ensign's growing portfolio to 99 healthcare facilities, three hospice companies and three home health businesses in 10 states.

About Ensign™

The Ensign Group, Inc.'s independent operating subsidiaries provide a broad spectrum of skilled nursing and assisted living services, physical, occupational and speech therapies, home health and hospice services, and other rehabilitative and healthcare services for both long-term residents and short-stay rehabilitation patients at 99 facilities, three hospice companies and three home health businesses in California, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa and Nebraska. More information about Ensign is available at http://www.ensigngroup.net.

SOURCE The Ensign Group, Inc.



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