FFL Partners Completes Investment in Autism Learning Partners
New Investment Supports Expansion of Leading ABA Therapy Provider
SAN FRANCISCO – December 21, 2017 — FFL Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in quality middle-market companies in growing markets that can benefit from their experience and capital, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Autism Learning Partners, (“ALP,” or “the Company”), a leading provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (“ABA”) therapy. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Southern California, ALP is a leader in providing ABA therapy services for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1988, the Company’s services feature the use of positive reinforcement techniques that help autistic children and young adults improve their social communication and cognitive abilities. ALP also provides group therapy programs, as well as speech and language programs for improving social interaction.
“ALP fulfills a critical need as more children are diagnosed with autism, developmental and behavioral disorders each year, and ABA therapy significantly improves patients’ quality of life,” said Aaron Money, Partner at FFL Partners. “We are excited about working with ALP CEO and President Jeffrey Winter and his team, to explore additional opportunities for building on the Company’s successful growth in its core markets and other geographies.” Chris Harris, Partner at FFL Partners, added, “We spent time with more than a dozen companies focused on helping autistic children and their families, and we ultimately concluded that ALP and its management team had the best combination of clinical rigor, business discipline and growth aspirations. We are excited to add them to the FFL family.”
ABA therapy has become the gold standard for treating autism, and, as a result, commercial insurance coverage for it is now mandated by 46 states, a marked increase from 23 states in 2010. The therapy, typically provided in a home setting, helps patients improve key living skills including hygiene, self-care and the ability to follow instructions, while also encouraging greater participation in family affairs.
“We are excited about our new relationship with FFL Partners as we look to expand our multi-state platform and provide the highest quality clinical care to the families we serve,” said Winter. “FFL’s experience in healthcare services, its knowledge of the behavioral healthcare space and its strategic resources will enable us to enter underserved markets with the highly personalized patient care families have come to expect from ALP.”
FFL’s investment in ALP follows an intensive review of the autism treatment niche within behavioral healthcare services. The firm has previously invested in behavioral healthcare service businesses including Crisis Prevention Institute, a provider of non-violent crisis intervention training, and Summit Behavioral Health, a leading provider of substance abuse programs. The firm also has extensive experience investing across the healthcare sector, including in WellStreet Urgent Care, which provides high quality medical care for nonlife threatening injuries and illnesses; and, Benevis, a company that supports group dental practices with non-clinical routine services, facilities and other business services.
Berkery Noyes served as the exclusive financial advisor to Autism Learning Partners for this transaction.
About Autism Learning Partners
For close to 30 years, Autism Learning Partners has served as a national leader in the field of developmental disabilities, serving as a full-service provider specializing in the treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities. Services are provided in California, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Texas. ALP serves almost 3,000 clients yearly, and 85% of families served indicate that they would recommend ALP to other families.
Specializing in the evidenced-based practice of Applied Behavior Analysis, a targeted intervention for autism spectrum disorders, ALP also provides social skills classes and parent training in the home, school and community. ALP offers occupational, speech and physical therapy in addition to ABA at several locations. ALP partners with most major insurance as well as Medicaid. Our mission is to provide the highest level of clinical expertise to facilitate significant and sustainable improvement for the individuals and families we serve.
About FFL Partners
FFL Partners is a San Francisco-based private equity firm with over $4.5 billion under management. For over fifteen years, the firm has helped build industry-leading companies, providing capital and advice to exceptional management teams to grow businesses and unlock value. FFL has deep experience in investing and operations, and has brought large-company best practices and professional networks to smaller companies. Business growth has provided over 75% of the value created by FFL for its investors. FFL invests in consumer products and services, industrial products and services, financial services, healthcare services, and business services. For additional information about FFL, please visit FFL’s website at www.fflpartners.com.