Agape Care Group has expanded into Alabama and Louisiana with the acquisition of Journey Hospice. Financial terms were undisclosed.
South Carolina-headquartered Agape is a portfolio company of the private equity firm Ridgemont Equity Partners. With the addition of Journey, Agape’s average daily census exceeds 3,700 daily across five states, with a staff of 1,500.
“Both [Alabama and Louisiana] are tremendous markets with compelling demographics and strong workforces,” Agape CEO Troy Yarborough told Hospice News. “We want to remain nimble and opportunistic in exploring all M&A across the Southeast to either open new geography or densify existing areas of service.”
Currently, seniors represent 17.3% of Alabama’s overall population, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. Statewide, this age group is expected to reach 1.2 million by 2040, up from 721,166 in 2013, according to data from the University of Alabama.
Hospice utilization among Medicare decedents in Alabama reached 47.4% in 2018, falling slightly under the national average of 50.3% that year, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) reports.
Adults older than 65 account for more than 16.5% of Louisiana’s population, which is projected to rise by 42% as of 2030, census data show. Hospice utilization in Louisiana was at 50% in 2018, per NHPCO.
The Journey transaction comes at a time of multi-state expansion for Agape, via acquisitions and de novos. This is the company’s fourth acquisition thus far in 2022.
The company in mid-September acquired GHC Hospice for a confidential amount. GHC operated locations in South Carolina and Georgia, which are key growth markets for Agape.
Agape purchased 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.
The company’s newest acquisition, Journey Hospice, serves patients in eight counties across Alabama and 13 parishes in Louisiana. M&A advisory firm Agenda Health advised the seller on the deal.
“A strong patient-focused culture in two markets across the Southeast that open additional expansion opportunity make Journey a great fit,” Yarborough said. “Our near term focus is successful integration of our recent entries into North Carolina, Coastal Georgia and now Alabama and Louisiana.“