Lifeskills of South Florida Principals Mulling Facility Sale

Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire
07/11/2013 –ATIN – Lifeskills of South Florida, a well-regarded approximately 10-yr-old for-profit offering both residential and outpatient addiction treatment drug rehab alcohol rehab services, is considering putting itself up for sale, according to sources in a position to know who wished to remain anonymous. The private investors that founded Lifeskills, Jeff and Nancy Steiner, Dr. Cesar Benarroche and a silent partner family investor from Costa Rica all own equal one-third stakes, are apparently mulling whether or not to engage the services of a healthcare mergers boutique that would shop Lifeskills to potential buyers nationwide, the sources say.

Booming Mergers

The market for addictions mergers and acquisitions is booming like never before in both the non-profit – 60 percent of $25B-$30B annual industry revenue – and for-profit sectors of the industry, so Lifeskills would be selling into a market that is indeed very well bid. On the private, for-profit side what is driving the mergers wave is a wall of cheap money in the hands dealmakers who see outstanding consolidation opportunities in a treatment business that currently offers among the best risk/reward profiles to be found anywhere, an investment “perfect storm” that is attracting some the savviest of the monied interests, players like Hyatt scion Nick Pritzker and others. On the publicly funded side the drivers are ObamaCare fear and uncertainty and a big cash crunch in the wake of state and local budget cuts post financial crisis in a merger wave that is long overdue and seriously picking up steam, especially in funding starved states like Florida and North Carolina.

Not Respond

Lifeskills CFO Jeff Steiner did not respond to numerous attempts by Treatment Magazine to reach him. An accountant with an active private practice, Steiner’s entrée to the treatment business is though his wife Nancy, a highly regarded and well-connected clinician with close ties to Eric Clapton’s famous Antigua-based center Crossroads. Lifeskills is not by any means the Steiners’ sole treatment entrepreneurial foray, with the two having successfully launched what is arguably the first – and maybe the only? – high-end sober living operation in South Florida. After purchasing two adjacent homes in Delray Beach, Nancy Steiner opened The Sanctuary and then very quickly, and as it turned out later very astutely, sold the operation to Crossroads at the pretty much the exact top of the real estate market pre-crash.

Valuable Facility

In a prescient move given the vulnerability of the Florida Model currently in the wake of insurer changes in formerly lucrative urine billing coding and extensive facility investments and upgrades by powerhouse South Florida competitors such as The Florida House and Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, Lifeskills invested $5M in 2007 to build a first class 40-bed clinical and residential compound, a facility with residential and inpatient licensure and local zoning that is valuable in today’s highly charged NIMBY South Florida political landscape


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