Public Companies

LHC Group buys 45-year-old home health/hospice group

by Leslie Turk

The transaction, which adds 33 locations in five states, increasing the Lafayette company's footprint to 342 locations across 27 states, is valued at $60 million.

Lafayette-based home health and hospice provider LHC Group Inc. announced this week that it has signed a definitive stock purchase agreement with BioScip Inc. to acquire two of its operating subsidiaries doing business as Deaconess HomeCare and Elk Valley Health Services.

The $60 million transaction will add 33 locations in five states, increasing LHC Group's geographical footprint to 342 locations across 27 states. The deal, which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter 2014, is anticipated to be accretive to LHC Group's 2014 earnings by between 5 cents and 10 cents per diluted share.

Both companies are traded on the Nasdaq, LHCG and BIOS, respectively.

LHC Group officials say in a prepared release that the combined service area of Deaconess HomeCare and Elk Valley Health Services, collectively one of the nation's largest home health providers, includes 121 counties for home health, 30 counties for hospice and 95 counties for community-based services in the states of Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Nebraska. Annual revenues are approximately $72.6 million.

Deaconess HomeCare was established in 1969.

LHC Group Chairman and CEO Keith Myers

"When we founded LHC Group 20 years ago, Deaconess HomeCare already had a strong reputation as one of the nation's premier providers," Keith Myers, LHC Group chairman and CEO, said in the press release. "Joining forces with a provider of this caliber marks a great day for our company."

Myers said he anticipates this type of consolidation continuing in the industry.