The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board has acquired Acorn Health — a provider of applied behavior therapy (ABA) for children with autism spectrum disorder. The board is an institutional fund manager that serves working and retired teachers in the Canadian province of Ontario.
Ontario Teachers’ has purchased Acorn Health from MBF Healthcare Partners, a middle market private equity firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Co-founded by MBF in 2018, Coral Gables, Fla.-based Acorn Health provides center-based and in-home ABA therapy to children as young as 18 months. ABA therapy is widely considered to be the gold standard of autism care.
Acorn Health has served more than 1,300 families since its inception and has 51 locations across Michigan, Illinois, Virginia, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. The provider’s most recent transaction occurred in January, when it purchased Sandcastle Centers, a ABA therapy provider based in Orlando, Fla.
“We are appreciative of MBF’s guidance and support over the last several years in helping us build a leading ABA therapy company with a national reach,” Acorn Health Co-Founder and CEO Vicki Kroviak said in a press release announcing the deal.
As part of the transaction, Kroviak will retain an ownership stake in Acorn Health, with Ontario Teachers holding the majority interest.
“Our new partnership with Ontario Teachers’ gives Acorn Health additional tools to access opportunities and continue to invest in our people, our systems and our clinical infrastructure,” Kroviak added. “We see a substantial need and will continue building a sustainable company offering a highly important service to children with ASD so that they may live their most independent and meaningful lives.”
Ontario Teachers’ is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada, managing 331,000 investments with net assets totaling $227.7 billion.
“We are excited to partner with Acorn Health and grow our portfolio of leading health care platforms,” Karen Frank, the senior managing director of equities for Ontario Teachers’, said in the press release. “The company provides tailored and high-quality care to young individuals with autism, allowing them to live fuller, more independent lives. We look forward to working with Vicki and the management team as they grow the business further and continue having a positive impact on the lives of these children and their families.”