FFL Partners completes investment in Autism Learning Partners

FFL Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in quality middle-market companies in growing markets that can benefit from their experience and capital, has completed the acquisition of Autism Learning Partners (ALP), a provider of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy.

Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Headquartered in Southern California, ALP is a leader in providing ABA therapy services for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1988, the Company’s services feature the use of positive reinforcement techniques that help autistic children and young adults improve their social communication and cognitive abilities. ALP also provides group therapy programs, as well as speech and language programs for improving social interaction.

“ALP fulfils a critical need as more children are diagnosed with autism, developmental and behavioural disorders each year, and ABA therapy significantly improves patients’ quality of life,” says Aaron Money, Partner at FFL Partners. “We are excited about working with ALP CEO and President Jeffrey Winter and his team, to explore additional opportunities for building on the Company’s successful growth in its core markets and other geographies.” 

Chris Harris, Partner at FFL Partners, adds: “We spent time with more than a dozen companies focused on helping autistic children and their families, and we ultimately concluded that ALP and its management team had the best combination of clinical rigour, business discipline and growth aspirations. We are excited to add them to the FFL family.”

ABA therapy has become the gold standard for treating autism, and, as a result, commercial insurance coverage for it is now mandated by 46 states, a marked increase from 23 states in 2010. The therapy, typically provided in a home setting, helps patients improve key living skills including hygiene, self-care and the ability to follow instructions, while also encouraging greater participation in family affairs.

“We are excited about our new relationship with FFL Partners as we look to expand our multi-state platform and provide the highest quality clinical care to the families we serve,” says Winter. “FFL’s experience in healthcare services, its knowledge of the behavioural healthcare space and its strategic resources will enable us to enter underserved markets with the highly personalised patient care families have come to expect from ALP.”

FFL’s investment in ALP follows an intensive review of the autism treatment niche within behavioural healthcare services. The firm has previously invested in behavioural healthcare service businesses including Crisis Prevention Institute, a provider of non-violent crisis intervention training, and Summit Behavioural Health, a leading provider of substance abuse programs. The firm also has extensive experience investing across the healthcare sector, including in WellStreet Urgent Care, which provides high quality medical care for non life-threatening injuries and illnesses; and, Benevis, a company that supports group dental practices with non-clinical routine services, facilities and other business services.

Berkery Noyes served as the exclusive financial advisor to Autism Learning Partners for this transaction. 

SOURCE: Private Equity Wire