Transactions: Amwell Doubles Down on Behavioral with New Purchases; Cerberus Officially Invests in Lighthouse

Amwell acquires two virtual health care companies

After hinting last year at its intentions of acquiring a behavioral health startup, Amwell (NYSE: AMWL) has acquired two virtual care providers, one of which specializes in mental health.

The Boston-based telehealth company announced that it has purchased SilverCloud Health and Conversa Health for a combined $320 million.

SilverCloud Health advertises itself as the world’s largest digital mental health company, providing coaching and self-guided support programs 24/7 via smartphone, tablet or computer.


SIlverCloud’s platform is used by 300 organizations, including Kaiser-Permanente, Optum and Providence Health, as well as over 80% of the mental health services provided by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service system. Founded in 2011, Boston-based SilverCloud has raised $26.2 million in funding to date, according to fundraising tracking site Crunchbase.

Meanwhile, Conversa is based in Portland, Oregon. It is an electronic health records manager for health care organizations and also provides engagement to patients through text messaging services.

In addition to medical and surgical care, Conversa’s platform also engages patients with behavioral health conditions such as depression. Founded in 2014, Conversa has raised $33.8 million in funding to date, according to Crunchbase.


Amwell’s purchase of SilverCloud and Conversa comes after CEO Ido Schoenberg last November told Business Insider that he was interested in augmenting Amwell’s services with behavioral health assets.

“You cannot do everything yourself,” Schoenberg said at the time, when asked if the company was looking to buy any behavioral health startups. “And I see behavioral health needs growing in the foreseeable future.”

Prior to the deal announcement, Amwell ramped up its behavioral care offerings with the debut of its Amwell Psychiatric Care arm earlier this year. The service virtually connects psychiatric specialists to ERs and health care providers nationwide.

Telehealth provider Avera eCare sold to PE buyer

The telehealth provider Avera eCare has been sold by Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Avera Health to the private investment firm Aquiline Capital Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1993, Avera eCare provides virtual services in a variety of care lines, including behavioral health. It partners with over 600 health care systems, rural hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, assisted living residences and schools nationwide.

Avera eCare’s 230-plus employees will continue to work for the company once the merger is completed. The deal is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Some services, such as specialty consults, will remain with Avera Health, a hospital and health care system that operates over 300 locations across South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. Additionally, Avera eCare’s headquarters will remain in Sioux Falls, while the company will be renamed Avel eCare as part of the deal.

Chicago-based boutique investment bank Ziegler was the financial advisor on the transaction for Aquiline, which manages $6.4 billion in assets and has headquarters in New York and London.

BayMark ups presence in Georgia with acquisition

The medication-assisted treatment (MAT) provider giant BayMark Health Services has purchased Mt. Sinai Wellness Center, a residential SUD treatment facility in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Financial terms were not released.

Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest north of Atlanta, the 43-acre Mt. Sinai campus provides drug and alcohol addiction treatment, dual diagnosis care, pain management and medical detox. Mt. Sinai, which accepts most major commercial insurances, also has a support program for families, as well as post-care services.

Mt. Sinai marks BayMark’s seventh facility in Georgia.

One of the nation’s largest MAT providers, Lewisville, Texas-based BayMark operates more than 300 treatment facilities across 34 states and three Canadian provinces, offering outpatient care, residential treatment, detox services and office-based opioid treatment programs.

BayMark is owned by Webster Equity Partners.

Lighthouse Autism Center receives strategic investment from Cerberus

An affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management has made a strategic investment in Lighthouse Autism Center, the companies announced. The news comes after rumors swirled last month that the PE firm was planning to buy the autism provider for more than $400 million, marking the autism industry’s first platform deal in over a year.

Cerberus is making the investment alongside Abry Partners and Lighthouse founder and CEO Gregg Maggioli. Financial terms of transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2012, in South Bend, Indiana-based Lighthouse provides applied behavior analysis (ABA) services to children ages 2 to 18 at over 20 locations across Indiana and Michigan. ABA is widely recognized as a gold standard of autism care.

“We are incredibly proud of the number of children and families we have impacted, but there is a lot more work to do,” Maggioli said in a press release announcing the transaction. “This partnership will accelerate our mission of offering the highest quality of ABA therapy to children and families who need it. With Cerberus’ support, we will be able to extend our track record of helping children with autism reach their goals.”

Investment bank Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor to Cerberus in the transaction, with M&A merchant bank Triple Tree, LLC acting as financial advisor to Lighthouse.

Silver Point Finance was the sole debt underwriter and lead creditor financing the transaction, with Fortress Capital also participating as a lender.

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