Sunday, May 26, 2024

Guilford-based senior living groups plan merger

Two Guilford County not-for-profits that provide senior living services for more than 2,000 residents in North Carolina announced Wednesday they will merge into an equal partnership by the end of the year.

Brightspire (formerly known as Presbyterian Homes) and the Well-Spring Group have a combined $120 million in revenue and more than 2,100 employees. The combined organization will have five “life plan” or “continuing care” retirement communities in North Carolina.

Steve Fleming, president and CEO of The Well-Spring Group, and Tim Webster, president and CEO of Brightspire, will serve as co-CEOs/presidents of the yet-unnamed parent entity. Fleming’s duties will emphasize strategy, while Webster’s duties will emphasize operations.

Glenaire in Cary is owned by Brightspire now, but will be part of a merger with the Well-Spring Group.

“We have complementary skill sets,” says Webster. The two leaders have known one another for 27 years and started talking about merging the organizations they lead more than a year ago.

The new parent company is projected to be the largest not-for-profit senior living organization in North Carolina and among the top 40 across the nation. Both men pledged that each Brightspire and Well-Spring Group community will retain its name, culture, personality and established traditions. Both men say a merger will benefit employees and the residents.

“Together with Well-Spring, we will have greater ability to expand our services, bring new products and services to the market and attract and retain the industry’s finest team members,” says Webster.

Residents in the communities should notice some differences. “We hope they see it through enhanced services and service delivery,” Fleming said.

Brightspire has a 71-year history, and has three senior living communities:

The Well-Spring Group opened its first retirement community on June 7, 1993, 30 years ago. Its communities are:

Amenities on some properties include golf courses, swimming pools and theaters, along with health-related services such as memory care, wellness, skilled nursing and assisted living.

Brightspire also manages Friends Homes campuses in Greensboro, which has 700 residents, and has two affordable housing communities in Raleigh. Well-Spring Solutions’ home- and community-based programs offer adult day care and group respite services to older adults with dementia, as well as home care, caregiver education and support. Well-Spring also is a majority partner in PACE of the Triad, a program for all-inclusive care serving the elderly in Guilford, Forsyth, Rockingham, Stokes and Surry counties. 

“The merger of our two financially sound and  service-oriented organizations positions us well for the future, and the challenges it may hold,” says Fleming. “Our combined  talents and resources will offer those we serve, and serve with, greater assurances and opportunities while creating a new and extremely robust chapter for us, together.” 

No cash will be exchanged in the merger, and both organizations will equally contribute to funding the launch of the parent company. No layoffs are planned, although some back-office functions will be consolidated, such as accounting and technology. Each group’s charitable foundations will remain unchanged.

The merger is subject to final board approval and regulatory reviews, including by the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

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