ChanceLight, Trimaran portfolio company, weighs sale

  • Trimaran Capital invested in company in 2004
  • ChanceLight: behavioral health; physical, occupational and speech therapy; education services
  • Also for sale: Center for Autism and Treatment Disorders

ChanceLight, whose programs range from therapy for autism-spectrum disorder to educational services to lower dropout rates, is exploring a sale, three sources said.

The Nashville company is working with Moelis on a sales process, the sources said. Marketing materials were distributed for the company around November, two of the sources said.

Trimaran Capital Partners, which today is generally considered a zombie PE firm, invested in the company, then called Educational Services of America, in 2004. The investment was done through the New York middle-market firm’s second fund, which closed in 2000 with $1.04 billion.

Individuals associated with Trimaran couldn’t be reached Wednesday. However, an August 2017 filing disclosed that the fund valued its remaining interest at $25.7 million, including $3.8 million of previously realized proceeds.

The sales process comes after ChanceLight weighed a sale a couple years back, the sources said. The company at the time was marketed off of 2015 Ebitda of about $17 million on revenue of $135 million, one of the sources noted.

ChanceLight is likely being marketed off a similar Ebitda figure in the teens to $20 million range, sources estimated.

Led by Co-Founder and CEO Mark Claypool, ChanceLight encompasses three main divisions. Its education services include an alternative education program, Ombudsman Educational Services, which partners with school districts to serve at-risk students and decrease dropout rates. Separately, Spectrum Center Schools and Programs operates schools and programs for students with special needs.

ChanceLight Pediatric Therapy offers home-based physical, occupational and speech therapy services, whereas ChanceLight Behavioral Health offers various services and programs at home settings, clinics and schools, and on or near military bases.

Its behavioral-therapy arm includes applied behavior analysis-based services to treat children and adults with autism and other disorders, an area that has commanded significant interest from the private equity community. Sources noted that the autism-treatment piece represents a small piece of the company.

The autism-treatment segment has been particularly active as of late. FFL Partners in December scooped up Autism Learning Partners for more than $270 million, while Shore Capital Partners made about 7x its money on the recent sale of Stepping Stones Group to Five Arrow Capital Partners, Buyouts reported.

Representatives of ChanceLight and Moelis declined to comment.

Action Item: Read about the recently launched process for autism-treatment provider CARD:

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