Transactions & Financings: Stepping Stones’ Autism Play; Summit BHC’s New Territory

PE-backed Stepping Stones Group builds out autism offerings

The Stepping Stones Group — a portfolio company of Five Arrows Capital Partners, the North American corporate PE arm of Rothschild & Co. Merchant Banking — has acquired STAR of CA to build out its autism offerings.

Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Lafayette, Colorado-based Stepping Stones provides therapeutic and behavioral health services to children, including those with autism and other intellectual disabilities. The company offers services to more than 500 clients and 115,000 students in educational and community settings across 30 states.


Meanwhile, STAR of CA providers home, community and school-based applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and mental health services to clients across California.

The move comes just a few months after Stepping Stones’ first and only other autism acquisition. It acquired New England ABA in September.

“The future of autism services is a multidisciplinary model,” Nancy Weisling, managing director of behavioral health at The Braff Group, said in a statement announcing the news. The Braff Group originated the transaction and served as an advisor for STAR of CA.


“STAR of CA and The Stepping Stones Group is the perfect marriage that will bring ABA and related services under one roof, ensuring the highest quality of care for the individuals and ease of coordination for the families,” Weisling said.

STAR of CA will be housed under Stepping Stones’ Autism Division, which will be led by Doug Moes — cofounder, president and CEO of STAR of CA. 

Summit BHC enters Colorado

Franklin, Tennessee-based Summit BHC has acquired Peak View Behavioral Health, planting its first flag in the state of Colorado.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Summit BHC is a national provider of addiction treatment and behavioral health services. The deal with Peak View brings the number of freestanding behavioral health and addiction treatment centers it operates up to 19 located across 14 states.

Colorado Springs, Colorado-based Peak View is a 112-bed acute psychiatric and behavioral health hospital.

The deal will allow Peak View to grow the width and breadth of its services.

“This is an exciting time for Peak View as we look to grow our services and reach a larger population of people who are in need of care,” Ty Meredith, CEO of Peak View, said in a press release. “Partnering with Summit allows us to do just that. While our quality programs and services will remain the same, we are joining a successful network of care providers across the country who hold the same values as we do.”

$17.4M granted for new psychiatric facility

San Diego County officials have approved $17.4 million for a new 16-bed psychiatric facility to be built on the Tri-City Medical Center campus.

Oceanside, California Tri-City is a full-service, acute-care public hospital. It previously closed its behavioral health facility, which was becoming outdated, in October 2018 because there were concerns about patient safety and inadequate reimbursement, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.  

The financing news comes after the county originally declined Tri-City’s request for $14 million to rebuild its old 12-bed facility. 

The new free-standing inpatient facility could be finished in 12 to 18 months, if the permitting process is seamless, the paper reported.

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