Private equity-backed ARC Health has acquired Chicago-based Wellington Counseling Group.
ARC Health announced the deal Monday, adding two multi-specialty psychotherapy locations and a to-be-opened location to the burgeoning company’s footprint.
“The choice to partner with ARC Health came down to their ability to bring scale to a profession and industry with increasingly tighter margins, year after year, while maintaining the promise of excellence by recruiting so selectively for inclusion in their national platform of partner groups,” Dr. David Rakofsky, the founder of Wellington Counseling Group said in a news release.
Wellington Counseling Group cares for patients of all ages. Its services include treatment for mental illnesses, life transitions, couples therapy, trauma, ADHD and grief.
The deal gives ARC Health its first practice in Illinois, its 13th state market. Earlier in the year, it acquired Lilac Center, based in the Kansas City metro, and the Colorado Center for Clinical Excellence in Denver.
Beachwood, Ohio-based ARC Health is backed by the Thurston Group, a Chicago-based private equity firm that focuses on health care and health care services business.
Thurston Group formed the company through an investment in Advanced Recovery Concepts. That deal helped establish and use the firm’s blueprint as it seeks to consolidate the outpatient mental health space and expand access to care. In 2022, ARC Health announced six deals, expanding its nationwide footprint.
ARC Health and the Thurston Group focus heavily on partnerships at all levels of the business. While it’s in growth mode and an active acquirer, ARC Health allows practice owners who sell to it to roll over their equity into ARC itself. It also seeks to keep practice owners, especially if they are also clinicians, on board with this model. It also has an equity ownership program for front-line clinicians such as advanced practice nurses and therapists.
Vincenzo Morra, ARC Health CEO, told Behavioral Health Business in a previous interview he expected the company to operate 16 practices and 25 locations by the end of 2022 and to double in size by the end of 2023.
“[Wellington Counseling Group] is committed to providing high-quality mental health services to all clients, and the partnership with ARC Health will allow the practice to expand its reach and impact throughout the Chicago metroplex,” Morra said in the release.
ARC Health and Thurston Group created a new platform company in the outpatient mental health space. The speed and frequency of its deals were a defining part of the deal landscape in 2022. Private equity backing helped make two of the largest outpatient mental health companies in the U.S. LifeStance Health Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LFST) was backed by TPG before its IPO. Refresh Mental Health was owned by Kelso & Co. before its sale to Optum.