Dallas-Based, Autism-Focused Behavioral Innovations Acquired by New York PE Firm

With 77 centers across Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado, Behavioral Innovations provides early-intervention. center-based behavior analysis therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder and other related developmental disabilities.

BI CEO Dino Eliopoulos

Dallas-based Behavioral Innovations has been sold to Tenex Capital Management, a private equity firm based in New York. 

Founded in 2000, Behavioral Innovations (BI) is a provider of center-based, early-intervention applied behavior analysis therapy to children with autism spectrum disorder and other related developmental disabilities. The company has 77 centers across Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

Chicago-based Shore Capital Partners announced the sale, noting that it partnered with BI in 2017 “with the goal of providing best-in-class clinical care to children on the autism spectrum by rapidly opening new centers and training the high caliber clinicians necessary to deliver industry-leading care.”

“We’re extremely proud of what the Behavioral Innovations team has built,” John Hennegan, chairman of the Behavioral Innovations board and founding partner at Shore, said in a statement. “Through the company’s significant growth, the BI team remained committed to client-centered services and a patient-first culture above all else. With a strong executive management team in place and a market with significant unmet demand, we look forward to following BI’s continued growth as a leading center-based ABA therapy provider.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Tenex Capital Management invests in middle-market companies and says on its website that it the companies it partners with “have good bones, and valuable products, services, and people, and [are] seeking operational support and re-investment to reach the next level.” Tenex closed its third fund in 2020 at $1.2 billion.

Strategic investment fueled expansion

Shore said it completed a strategic partnership in 2017 with Dan Nicholson and co-founders Carla Edwards and Lori Russo, board certified behavior analysts. Led by CEO Dino Eliopoulos, Behavioral Innovations has grown its center network from 13 centers in Texas and Oklahoma to its current 77 locations.

Under Eliopoulos’ leadership, BI opened 64 new clinics, dramatically improving access to quality care across its markets and creating more than 2,300 new jobs. BI said it plans to continue to rapidly expand into new geographies to offer autism therapy services to additional children.

“Shore’s partnership was invaluable and enabled us to expand rapidly,” Eliopoulos said in a statement. “We were able to move faster with less risk, given Shore’s years of experience investing in healthcare businesses and its deep bench of hands-on operational support typically only accessible to large-cap companies.”

Edwards, chief clinical officer and co-founder of BI, said she looks forward to helping more clients.

“Since starting Behavioral Innovations in 2000, our primary focus has been providing best-in-class clinical care and autism therapy services. I’m delighted that we have maintained this since expanding and adding new centers,” Edwards said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to support children with autism and their families with clinical resources and support.”

Shore Capital, which also has offices in Nashville, is an investor in microcap companies in the healthcare, food and beverage, business services, industrial, and real estate industries.

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