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The Ensign Group, Inc. Acquires Utah Skilled Nursing Facility

MISSION VIEJO, Calif., May 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG), the parent company of the Ensign(TM) group of skilled nursing, rehabilitative care services and assisted living companies, announced today that it has completed the purchase of an 83-bed skilled nursing facility in Draper, Utah for approximately $3.0 million.


Previously leased facility now owned

The facility was acquired from an affiliate of Oregon-based Westcare Management, Inc. The deal was struck in mid-2007, but closing was delayed while title issues on the real estate were resolved. An Ensign operating subsidiary has been operating the facility under a short-term lease since July 2007, pending the real estate closing. The operating subsidiary will continue to operate the facility under a new long-term lease with the acquiring entity.

"Draper Rehabilitation and Care Center is an anchor facility for Ensign in the vital Utah healthcare community," said Christopher Christensen, Ensign's President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Christensen described the facility as well-regarded in the community and praised the prior operators for running a caring, quality healthcare program, adding, "We are pleased to be able to build on the great work they've done."

Westcare is a major provider of residential care services for the developmentally disabled in Idaho. Van Moore, Senior Vice President of Westcare, explained his company's decision to sell the facility -- its only skilled nursing facility in Utah -- to Ensign. "It was a business decision," Mr. Moore said, "but we wouldn't have sold to just anyone. We truly felt that Ensign, with its solid base of operations and reputation for quality in the Utah market, was the best choice to serve our staff, our residents and the community."

Proceeds of Ensign's recent initial public offering were used to complete the transaction. Work is already underway on substantial renovations and other improvements to the facility's physical plant, staffing patterns and clinical systems, as the facility's leaders and staff reposition the facility to serve a larger skilled nursing population.

With the completion of the Draper transaction and Ensign's previously-announced acquisition of Orem Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Orem, Utah on May 1, 2008, Ensign's footprint in Utah's vibrant Ogden-Salt Lake-Provo corridor has grown to five long-term care facilities with 552 beds. Ensign's first presence in Utah came with its July 2006 acquisition of then- troubled Mt. Ogden Health and Rehabilitation Center, a 120-bed skilled nursing facility in Ogden, which was placed on Special Focus status by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services due to events that occurred prior to Ensign's takeover. Having successfully "graduated" another formerly-troubled facility in Tucson, Arizona from the Special Focus program recently, Ensign's management has expressed confidence in efforts already underway by Mt. Ogden's new leadership and staff to do the same.

Ensign affiliates currently operate 62 facilities in six Western states. The Draper acquisition brings the total number of owned facilities in Ensign's combined portfolio to 28, with Ensign affiliates holding purchase options on eight of Ensign's 34 leased facilities.

About Ensign(TM)

The Ensign Group, Inc.'s operating subsidiaries provide a broad spectrum of skilled nursing and assisted living services, physical, occupational and speech therapies, and other rehabilitative and healthcare services for both long-term residents and short-stay rehabilitation patients, at 62 facilities located in California, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Utah and Idaho. Each of these facilities is operated by a separate, wholly-owned independent operating subsidiary that has its own management, employees and assets. References herein to the consolidated "Company" and "its" assets and activities, as well as the use of the terms "we," "us," "our" and similar verbiage are not meant to imply that The Ensign Group, Inc. has direct operating assets, employees or revenue, or that any of the facilities, the Service Center or the captive insurance subsidiary are operated by the same entity. More information about Ensign is available at

SOURCE The Ensign Group, Inc.
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