Centria, Martis-backed autism-treatment provider, kicks off sales process

  • Michigan-based Centria provides services across 10 states
  • Martis investment dates to November ’16
  • Recent investors in autism treatment: Gryphon, Arsenal

Centria Healthcare, one of the largest providers of applied behavioral analysis for autism-treatment in the country, is evaluating a sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

Moelis is conducting the sales process for the Martis Capital– and Lorient Capital-backed company, the people said.

First round bids for the Farmington Hills, Michigan, autism-treatment provider are due at the end of July, two of the people said.

Centria is marketed off of Ebitda in the mid-$50 million range, some of the people said.

While sources said it remains too early in the process to determine valuation expectations, autism-treatment providers of scale have consistently commanded premium multiples of Ebitda.

Founded in 2009, Centria provides home-based ABA therapy to treat autism, as well as pediatric nursing and catastrophic injury care.

Led by CEO Scott Barry, the company is the largest provider of ABA treatment in Michigan.

The company in recent years has expanded beyond its midwest roots to Arizona, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington. Centria employs more than 3,500 full-time and part-time professionals.

Martis, formerly known as Capricorn Healthcare, completed its investment in Centria in November 2016. It is unclear when Lorient, a Birmingham, Michigan, firm focused in healthcare services, first invested.

Broadly, autism-treatment has seen an acceleration of private equity activity over the past few years, as demand for treatment services grow and an evolving reimbursement market requires better institutionalization.

In recent activity, Arsenal Capital Partners prevailed in the auction for Baird Capital’s Hopebridge in a deal valued at approximately $255 million, sources told Buyouts at the time.

In March, Gryphon Investors struck a deal for LLR PartnersLearn Behavioral, a provider of autism-treatment and educational services.

Other notable trades in the sector include Blackstone Group’s approximately $600 million deal for Center for Autism and Related Disorders and FFL Partners’ more than $270 million deal for Autism Learning Partners.

Elsewhere, KKR took a piece of the market through the creation of its own platform of clinics, Blue Sprig Pediatrics.

Representatives of Martis and Moelis declined to comment, while those with Lorient and Centria couldn’t immediately be reached.

Action Item: Check out Martis Capital’s latest Form ADV: https://bit.ly/2Xzri77