The Federal Trade Commission closed its investigation into the proposed merger of home health companies Aveanna Healthcare and Maxim Healthcare Services after the organizations abandoned the deal, the FTC announced late Thursday.
Atlanta-based Aveanna aimed to acquire the home health division of Columbia, Maryland-based Maxim for a reported $1.25 billion. Regulators said they had concerns about the deal's anticompetitive effects regarding nursing services in multiple markets across the country.
Private equity-backed Aveanna, which provides at-home nursing mostly for children who need constant care, is one of many post-acute companies that have looked to scale up through consolidation, and the FTC investigation signals that authorities are watching closely. The largest provider of pediatric home care with 226 locations in 23 states recently closed its acquisition Premier Healthcare Services, one of the largest private duty nursing providers in California.
"Now that the deal has been abandoned, patients and private duty nurses will continue to benefit from competition between Aveanna and Maxim," FTC Chairman Joseph Simons said in prepared remarks.
The path to closing the transaction proved unacceptably long, Aveanna said in a statement, while not offering more details.
"Aveanna will continue to execute our strategy and meet our financial obligations as we pursue our organic growth initiatives as well as a robust pipeline of attractive potential transactions," the company said.
As Aveanna looks to expand, it is also navigating accusations that it values growth over clinical care. State authorities have filed more than a 1,000 pages of health documents detailing a disproportionate number of safety violations, Bloomberg's reporting revealed.
Executives said that the company prioritizes training, patient safety and raising the standard of care as it meets a pressing need for some of the most vulnerable patients.