Persistent rumors are swirling around a potential sale of home care services provider BrightSpring Health, formerly known as ResCare, by private equity ownership group Onex Corp. Civitas Solutions Inc. (NYSE: CIVI), another large home- and community-based service provider to individuals with disabilities, has now become subject to sale speculation as well.

Louisville, Kentucky-based BrightSpring and Toronto-based Onex reportedly received preliminary offers last week from several buyout firms, according to unnamed sources who spoke with Reuters.

The news comes less than a month after similar reports from PE Hub.

Onex, which currently has about $33 billion of assets under management, also reportedly explored a potential $1 billion sale of then-branded ResCare in 2014. The private equity company first invested in ResCare in 2004, buying out the remainder of the home care provider in a deal that valued ResCare at about $384 million in 2010.

Jon Rousseau became president and CEO of the home care provider in 2016. Last week, as rumors started to once again pick up, BrightSpring announced it had hired a new chief information officer and filled a new chief learning officer position.

BrightSpring currently provides home-based care services to more than 2 million people of all ages and skill levels across more than 40 states. The company rebranded as BrightSpring earlier this year

BrightSpring declined to comment on the rumors, instead referring inquiries to Onex. The private equity group did not respond to requests for comment from Home Health Care News by the time of publication.

Civitas is also reportedly exploring strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, according to Reuters, citing “people familiar with the matter.” The move is aimed at capitalizing on strong buyout interest from private equity firms in the health care sector, the unnamed sources told Reuters.

An official from Boston-based Civitas, which markets its services nationally as The Mentor Network, told HHCN that it does not comment on market rumors or speculation regarding potential transactions as a matter of company policy.

Founded in 1980, The Mentor Network is a network of local health and human services providers in three dozen states offering an array of community-based services to adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, brain and spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries and illnesses. The Mentor Network also provides services to youth with emotional, behavioral and medically complex conditions.

Civitas is working with an investment bank to explore a sale, the unnamed sources told Reuters, noting deliberations are at an early stage and that no deal is certain. Private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners owns just over half of Civitas.

Civitas acquired Habilitative Services, Inc. and two related companies in 2017.

In general, private equity interest has rapidly risen of late as the U.S. health care system undergoes massive change in the form of value-based care and other alternative payment models. That’s especially true for the home health, home care and hospice industries, as there have been at least three dozen market-entry private equity sponsored platform deals in those spaces since 2015, according to proprietary data from The Braff Group.

As private equity becomes increasingly involved, some skeptics are starting to question firms’ intentions and ability to balance profits with providing high-quality, affordable care.

Written by Robert Holly