Beverly buyer to restructure operations, buy more facilities next year

Share this content:

The prospective new owner of Beverly Enterprises Inc. is already looking ahead to new acquisitions. Its top executive said he also plans to fundamentally alter the operating strategy of his new company.

Ronald E. Silva, president and CEO of Fillmore Capital Partners, told McKnight's Long-Term Care News that his company plans to acquire another long-term care company in 2006. His company has been "besieged" by people interested in making deals, he said.

"Undoubtedly I'm confident there will be another acquisition, " he said. The upcoming deal, he added, "will be sizeable" to the Beverly acquisition.

Fillmore is heading into the final stages of the acquisition process after last week's deadline passed for Beverly to consider other buyers. The deal is now left to Beverly's shareholders, who must vote to approve the acquisition before it can be finalized. It is also subject to regulatory requirements.

Silva disclosed he plans to run Beverly differently than it has been operated under Beverly's current CEO, Bill Floyd. Instead of a "top-down strategy," Silva wants to run the company from the bottom up, he said. The administrator of each facility will become the "CEO," Silva explained.

"I am a believer that the people at the property need to make the decisions," he said.

The parent company will serve to support the decisions of the administrators and provide leadership in terms of philosophy for facilities. It also will coordinate the commodity needs of the facilities, such as finding the best prices for durable medical goods and the least expensive information technology.

Silva, who said he was the primary caregiver to his aging parents over the last three years, also has a keen interest in home care, hospice and therapy. He wants to bolster Aegis Therapies and AseraCare, Beverly's therapy and hospice and home health divisions.

Pending regulator approval, the new company plans to privatize the company and install a new executive team in place, he said.

"Then we'll go about evaluating every one and building the new paradigm," he said.

Fillmore agreed to purchase the company for $12.50 per share after fulfilling the financing commitments of North American Senior Care last month. The acquisition marks the private real estate equity firm's first such deal. Previously, Fillmore has just provided financing for lodging and healthcare. Notable among its previous deals, it provided part of the financing for the Mariner Health Care chain's privatization last year.