The Ensign Group to purchase CHRISTUS St. Joseph Villa located in Utah

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The Ensign Group, Inc., the parent company of the Ensign(TM) group of skilled nursing, rehabilitative care services, hospice care and assisted living companies, announced today that it has agreed to purchase CHRISTUS St. Joseph Villa, a continuing care retirement community located in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the CHRISTUS Marian Center, a behavioral health center operated within St. Joseph Villa.  

Founded in 1947 by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, CHRISTUS St. Joseph Villa is part of the Catholic nonprofit CHRISTUS Health system and has long been a fixture in Utah's senior care community. The sale is expected to be effective as of February 1, 2011, and remains subject to certain regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

"We are honored that CHRISTUS has entrusted us with this important stewardship, and we are committed to continuing the mission of CHRISTUS and the sisters who founded St. Joseph Villa," said Matt Church, a longtime Ensign operational leader who will assume the helm of the expansive continuing care campus. "We admire the wonderful work they've done here over the past 63 years, and pledge to build on their great legacy to meet and exceed the clinical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of each resident, staff member and family," he added.

CHRISTUS St. Joseph Villa is a full-service senior care campus with 221 skilled nursing beds, 48 assisted living units and 60 independent living apartments. It also includes the CHRISTUS Marian Center, the Salt Lake Valley's premier long-term inpatient acute psychiatric program, with its 12 psychiatric beds.

"This strategic acquisition further solidifies Ensign's operating synergies in Utah," said Christopher Christensen, Ensign's President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Christensen added that Ensign expects the campus, which currently has an occupancy rate of approximately 70%, to be operationally accretive to earnings in 2011. The facility will be operated by a subsidiary of Milestone Healthcare, Inc., Ensign's Utah-based portfolio subsidiary, and will join existing healthcare operations in nine other Milestone subsidiaries in Utah and Southern Idaho. Ensign will purchase the campus 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 Western United States. The acquisition will bring Ensign's growing portfolio to 85 healthcare facilities, two hospice companies and a home health business.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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