Agape Care Acquires Georgia Hospice Provider Serenity

Agape Care has acquired Dublin-Ga.-based Serenity Care for an undisclosed sum, furthering the company’s plans for multi-state expansion. The South Carolina-based hospice provider expanded into that market earlier this year with an Augusta, Ga., location serving 12 counties.

Agape is a portfolio company of the Chicago-based private equity firm The Vistria Group. The company’s more than 900 employees care for 1,500 patients annually in South Carolina and now Georgia, providing hospice and palliative care.

“This is an extremely attractive acquisition to continue our growth strategy in Georgia. Serenity has a 15-year history serving multiple communities in central Georgia and today serves 175 patients [daily] across 40 counties,” Agape CEO Troy Yarborough told Hospice News. “Having recently established a presence in Augusta, Ga., we began to look at near-term markets that presented providers that were quality- and compliance-driven and had strong reputations.”


Much of Serenity’s footprint is contiguous with the service region of Agape’s other Georgia asset, which offer strong demographic tailwinds, according to Yarborough. Agape is positioned to serve more than 200 patients each day across 52 Georgia counties, representing a third of that state’s geography.

Hospice utilization in that state among Medicare decedents reached 51% during 2018, which is in line with that year’s national average, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization.

The Vistria Group-backed Hospice Care of South Carolina acquired Agape Hospice in early 2020 for an undisclosed amount. The combined organization then reorganized under the Agape Care Group brand. Vistria Group in 2020 sold its other asset in the space, St. Croix Hospice, to PE firm H.I.G. Capital, marking one of the largest hospice transactions to occur last year.


Agape is pursuing a three-pronged growth strategy that includes same-store admissions growth, establishing de novo locations as well as additional acquisitions with an emphasis on markets in the Southeastern United States.

One key goal of this model is to build density and to create a platform that performs similarly in each one of its markets, Yarborough told Hospice News. The company has additional acquisitions in its pipeline for 2021 and 2022.

“What made this acquisition so appealing to us beyond the geography and the culture comes down to the model that we’ve been very successful with in South Carolina,” Yarborough said. “Our model is based on serving patients across these communities with a diverse and deeply embedded workforce. We expect and are excited about the opportunity to continue that strategy in Georgia with Serenity.”

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