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The Ensign Group buys Meridian-based Idaho Home Health and Hospice Agency

The Ensign Group, Inc. completed the purchase of the operating assets of Horizon Home Health and Hospice, a well-regarded home health and hospice agency based in Meridian, on May 1.

Founded in 1993 by Marcie Little, a fixture in Southwestern Idaho’s healthcare community, Horizon will be led by CEO Daniel Walker, a longtime Ensign leader and a fellow native-Idahoan whom Ms. Little has hand-picked as her successor.

This strategic acquisition broadens Ensign’s reach into the home health and hospice business, and further solidifies Ensign’s presence in Idaho, Ensign CEO Christopher Christensen stated. He added that he expects the transaction to be mildly accretive to earnings in 2010.

According to a release, Christensen reaffirmed that Ensign is actively seeking additional opportunities to acquire both well-performing and struggling long-term care operations across the Western United States. Recent acquisitions bring Ensign’s growing portfolio to 81 healthcare facilities, 51 of which are Ensign-owned, two hospice businesses and one home health business. Ensign affiliates hold purchase options on eight of the 30 leased facilities.

While the purchase was made with cash, there was no mention of the price. The Horizon purchase was effective May 1, 2010.

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