Two of the largest janitorial, private nursing and care management companies in Houston, Texas have joined forces.
On Tuesday, Family Tree In-Home Care announced that it has completed the acquisition of Evergreen Private Care of Houston to merge the operations of the two companies. The announcement echoes the increasing concentration that is occurring in the home care space, as operators attempt to achieve scale and diversification of services to better serve payers and healthcare system partners.
“We have two of the biggest brands in the entire Houston area, provide very similar services and are hands down the # 1 competitor to each other,” Daniel Gottschalk, president of Family Tree, told Home Health Care News.
Founded in 2011, Texas-based Family Tree is a home concierge agency with offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. The company also has offices in Denver and Boulder, Colorado.
Meanwhile, Evergreen was founded in 2009 and operates in Texas. The company provides personal care and skilled nursing services.
When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, most companies can determine exactly when negotiations began. In the case of Evergreen and Family Tree, their parallel journeys have meant the two companies crossed paths long before a deal was on the table, Laura Cook, Evergreen co-founder, told HHCN.
“We’ve known Alex Bonetti since around 2014,” she said. “We communicated with each other like industry peers. We just appreciated each other’s level of excellence and the passion to do something different and better in the private compensation industry.
Alex Bonetti is the founder and CEO of Family Tree. Bonetti will serve as CEO of the newly formed company.
Gottschalk will assume the role of chairman, with Cook continuing to serve as a regional manager with growing influence on the combined company’s platform.
The good moment
Family Tree and Evergreen have always had what could be considered “friendly competition”. The idea of an operational merger of the two companies was first launched in 2015.
In early 2021, the timing finally looked right for both sides, according to Gottschalk.
“We have definitely been in these talks for a long time, with [Family Tree] being the pursuer, ”he said.
For Evergreen, the story with Family Tree ensured that the two companies were aligned in terms of mission.
“It’s not just about a new player or an investment firm coming in and doing this for business reasons,” Cook said. “It’s much more meaningful. It was super important for us on the Evergreen side to only merge with people we knew. Our hearts beat in tandem about how we viewed the business and what our goals were. “
Strategically, the purchase gave Evergreen and Family Tree a chance to ultimately strengthen their operations.
“For a while we’re actually going to maintain independence between the two brands,” Gottschalk said. “We’re going to mine them very separately and intentionally for several months,… and what we’re doing is studying each other. We learn what Evergreen does better than Family Tree – and what Family Tree does better than Evergreen.
Gottschalk noted that after this period, the two companies will operationally unite under one brand. Management has already determined that Evergreen is the gold standard in private service nursing.
“Private duty nursing is a very special place for Evergreen because it is so nurse focused and nurse led,” Gottschalk said. “They can show us how to have a private and meaningful home health care practice with their nursing practice.”
For its part, Family Tree brings scale to the union.
“They have the infrastructure and the platform in a broader scope,” Cook said. “It takes our strengths – complex clinical nursing – and simply places them in this platform for exponential growth. ”
Ultimately, Family Tree and Evergreen seek to elevate and personalize care with their concierge model.
“This plan is only for you. It’s very personalized right down to the crispy bacon on the blue plate – the care is really so specific, ”Cook said. “There are nuances in the care of each. What is right for one is not for everyone and… complementing a care plan with what is optimal for the client in order to truly deliver something personalized will always yield the best results.