Capstone Headwaters, a leading middle market investment banking firm, advised EBS Healthcare (“EBS”) on its sale to The Stepping Stones Group (“SSG”). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
EBS Healthcare is a leading national provider of clinic, school, and home-based behavioral health and therapeutic services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), special needs, and developmental/behavior issues. With an experienced and passionate staff of behavioral analysts, speech-language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, behavioral therapists and technicians, developmental therapists, and school psychologists, EBS plays a vital role in improving outcomes for special needs children and students. Dedicated to clinical excellence, EBS invests significant resources in professional development, mentoring programs, and innovative research and is a clear leader in early adoption of evidenced-based treatment methodologies.
SSG is the leading provider of therapeutic and behavioral services to children including those with special needs and autism. The company serves over 600 clients and 140,000 children annually across 37 states. With over 30 years of experience, the SSG team consists of over 4,500 employees including licensed clinicians and special educators, dedicated to delivering high-quality therapeutic and behavioral services. SSG is majority owned by Five Arrows Capital Partners, the North American corporate private equity arm of Rothschild & Co’s Merchant Banking business.
“The combination of SSG and EBS is truly a landmark deal creating an organization with unrivaled scale and expertise dedicated to transforming the lives of children with special needs and autism. Not only do both organizations share the same quality outcomes, mindset, and mission, they both are strong advocates of fully integrated multi-disciplinary treatment involving ABA, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, and diagnostic testing services. Additionally, cognizant of the high unmet need for services, management of EBS Healthcare and Stepping Stones Group have made significant investments in training, tools, and technology and are uniquely capable of delivering therapy in all settings whether school, home, clinic, or via teletherapy,” commented Eric Williams, Managing Director of the Philadelphia-based Capstone Headwaters deal team.
"I am pleased that I chose Capstone Headwaters to represent me in the market. The Capstone Headwaters team’s professionalism and dedication was exceptional. Not only did they possess in-depth sector knowledge, they truly understood and prioritized my desire to partner with a like-minded organization. I know SSG is committed to quality care and making a difference in the lives of children who have special needs and their families. Moreover, their openness to different ideas and collaboration with new management teams through their prior successful partnerships signifies to me their respect for legacy. I look forward to working with Tim and the SSG leadership team to make our combined company the industry standard," noted Mark Stubits, Founder and CEO of EBS Healthcare.
Demand for behavioral and special education services continues to be fueled by a variety of factors including the rapid rise in the prevalence of autism and a growing population of special needs children due to better diagnosis and mounting cognizance among parents and educators of the benefits of intensive therapy and early intervention. “Undoubtedly, quarantine, isolation, stress, and lack of structure resulting from the pandemic has exacerbated emotional, behavioral, and learning issues and thus will increase the need for behavioral and special ed services for years to come. We continued to witness an unprecedented level of interest in autism treatment providers from both strategic and private equity suitors,” remarked Mark Surowiak, Director at Capstone Headwaters.
Capstone Headwaters has deep experience in the autism therapy and special education space previously representing SPG and Invo HealthCare as well as handling the divestiture of Progressus Therapy for private equity firm Sterling Partners.