March 20, 2019
Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, has acquired a majority stake in LEARN Behavioral from LLR Partners. LEARN is the leading network of providers serving children with autism and other special needs. LLR and senior management will maintain minority stakes alongside Gryphon. The transaction marks Gryphon’s first investment in the behavioral health sector. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 2006, and headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, LEARN serves more than 4,000 families in 23 states with personalized behavioral treatment services for autism and related disorders in a variety of settings, including the home, dedicated centers, and at school. The Company is a recognized market leader and one of the few providers of scale in the large, fragmented, and rapidly growing autism services field. LEARN operates throughout the United States, focusing on treatment based on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (“ABA”) and related therapies, including speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, individual and family counseling, and psychological diagnostics. The Company has an exceptional reputation in the industry due to its highly individualized clinical model, which utilizes multiple sites of service (home, center, and school) to deliver evidence-based care, providing benefits for individuals and the entire family. LEARN is also well known for its industry-leading training and employee development programs.
Gryphon Principal Luke Schroeder said, “There is a large unmet need for ABA therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder. The CDC currently estimates that one in 59 children is affected by autism spectrum disorder and there is a proven benefit from early intervention with comprehensive treatment. Gryphon is excited to team-up with LEARN, whose high-quality care and reputation as an employer of choice for clinicians provides a strong foundation for future growth.”
“We are delighted to partner with the team at Gryphon,” said Michael Maloney, the CEO of LEARN. “For nearly 15 years, we have been developing thoughtful programs that deliver meaningful progress for our clients. We are proud to have steadily grown our ability to care for clients in their local communities and we look forward to accelerating that growth with Gryphon’s financial and operational resources.”
Gryphon Operations Partner Kevin Blank added, “LEARN’s leadership has shown a remarkable ability to deliver successful results to families in need and to replicate its high-quality services in new communities. They have a strong track record of organic growth and in addition have also been the most active acquirer in the sector. That ability to scale, along with their strong company culture, highly diversified payor mix, and hybrid delivery model, positions them for continued leadership in the industry. We look forward to working with them to enhance existing programs and identify new communities that can benefit from LEARN’s services.”
Berkery Noyes served as the lead financial advisor to Gryphon Investors and Harris Williams & Company acted as the exclusive financial advisor to LEARN. Kirkland & Ellis acted as the legal advisor to Gryphon and McGuireWoods acted as the legal advisor to LEARN.
LEARN is the leading network of providers serving children with autism and other special needs. LEARN specializes in behavioral health treatment based on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis and is committed to providing programs and services that are family-focused, community-minded, and delivered with the highest clinical integrity. The LEARN team delivers more than two million hours of services annually and comprises more than 3,000 passionate professionals dedicated to nurturing each child’s personal best. For more information, visit www.learnbehavioral.com.
About Gryphon Investors
Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors (www.gryphoninvestors.com) is a leading private equity firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management teams. The firm has managed over $4.5 billion of equity investments and capital since 1997. Gryphon targets making equity investments of $50 million to $200 million in portfolio companies with sales ranging from approximately $100 million to $500 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form strong partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise.