authors Kara Hartnett
Franklin-based Acadia Healthcare is resuming sales negotiations for the United Kingdom business it acquired in 2016 for $1.5 billion, CEO Debbie Osteen announced on Tuesday.
“We have notified potential buyers that we will shortly relaunch the formal process regarding the sale of our U.K. business,” Osteen said in a release. “Our objective continues to be maximizing value for our stockholders. As we continue to work with our financial and legal advisors, we will update the market on the sales process when and as we determine it is appropriate.”
Osteen suspended ongoing sales discussions for The Priory Group in March in lieu of market volatility and shifted priorities brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, the company had received “multiple” initial bids for up to $1.2 billion for the 361-location behavioral health network, according to the Financial Times. Those centers last year brought in $1.1 billion in revenue but have seen their EBITDA slide to $186 million from $245 million since 2016 — they make up 35 percent of Acadia’s overall revenue.
The behavioral health giant tapped British banking dynasty Rothschild last November to test the market for the sale. Company leadership first announced the prospective sale of the division in May 2019.
Priory has been dragging down Acadia’s overall financial performance since its acquisition in 2016 and has been subject to multiple reports of abuse, mismanagement and chronic closures by media outlets throughout the U.K.
Shares of Acadia (Ticker: ACHC) were trading at $28.16 on Tuesday afternoon, still 20 percent shy of their value prior to the market crash in March.
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