Behavioral health is a growing national concern, finally, and investors are responding to the growing public attention. Mergers and acquisitions in this healthcare sector rose more than 46% last year, to more than 40 transactions. The two publicly traded, pure-play companies in this area, AAC Holdings (NYSE: AAC) and Acadia Healthcare Company (NASDAQ: ACHC), lead the list of acquirers (six and five announced deals, respectively).
Private equity firms were also active acquirers, including Kohlberg & Company, Revelstoke Capital Partners, Flexpoint Ford, Vestar Capital Partners and Shore Point Partners. Many PE portfolio companies have been building behavioral health care facilities in recent years, and we expect several of the larger platforms to change hands in 2016, if just from one PE firm to another. Stay tuned.