Hospice provider Agape Care Group has acquired GHC Hospice for an undisclosed sum, furthering the company’s goal of multistate expansion through the Southeast.
South Carolina-headquartered Agape is a portfolio company of the private equity firm Ridgemont Equity Partners. Geography was a key consideration in their newest transaction. GHC serves patients in South Carolina and Georgia, which are key growth markets for Agape.
“We’ve been laser focused in the Southeast over the last few years and do feel like it gives us the most near-term upside,” Agape CEO TroyYarborough previously told Hospice News. “However, we will maintain a nimble approach to M&A and explore all high-quality opportunities that present.”
M&A firm Provident Healthcare advised GHC on the deal.
With the addition of GHC locations, Agape Care Group’s 1,450 employees will be caring for close to 3,600 patients. The company’s footprint, with its affiliates, covers more than 85% of Georgia’s counties, every county in South Carolina, and parts of North Carolina. GHC will not rebrand in the near term.
The new transaction is Agape’s third during 2022, following the acquisitions of Georgia-based Lanier Hospice in January and Hospice of the Carolina Foothills in May. The Foothills deal gave Agape its first foothold in North Carolina.
Agape first entered Georgia in 2021 with a de novo in the Augusta community, near the South Carolina border. Later that year, the company purchased Serenity Care and Integrity Hospice in separate transactions, both in the town of Dublin, Ga.
The financial terms for each of those deals were confidential.
Hospice utilization among Medicare decedents in Georgia reached 51% during 2018, which is in line with that year’s national average of 50.3%, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).
Utilization in South Carolina topped 50.8% that same year, exceeding the national average by a fraction of a percent, NHPCO reported.
“Our team is excited to welcome the 135 new teammates from GHC Hospice joining Agape Care Group. GHC’s track record of strong clinical quality, patient-centered focus and reach into more rural communities enables us to connect with more patients and families with high-quality end-of-life care services in underserved geographies,” Yarborough said in a statement. “This further expansion in Georgia and South Carolina strengthens our team and solidifies our position as a leading hospice and palliative care provider across the Southeast.”