Sloan Bentley

West Des Moines, IA-based Lifespace Communities and Addison, TX-based Senior Quality Lifestyles Corp. have signed a nonbinding letter of intent as they explore the possibility of affiliating, the two organizations announced Wednesday. A merged company would be the fifth largest not-for-profit senior living organization in the country.

“By combining efforts to become one organization, we will be able to enhance operational performance, create advancement opportunities for team members across a wider system of communities and provide even greater financial stability for residents,” Lifespace Communities President and CEO Sloan Bentley said in a statement.

An affiliated company would offer independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing in communities in nine states: Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana and Illinois.

Lifespace currently operates 12 continuing care retirement communities (also known as life plan communities) in seven states, with a total of 4,069 units, according to the 2017 LeadingAge Ziegler 150. SQLC operates six CCRCs across two states, with a total of 1,858 units. Both organizations are dominated by independent living units. (Please see the accompanying table for more information.)

Lifespace was ranked as the 11th largest not-for-profit multi-site senior living organization, based on units, in the 2017 LeadingAge Ziegler 150. SQLC was No. 36. A combined total of 5,927 units would push an affiliated organization to the fifth largest senior living organization in the country.

“As not-for-profit organizations, there are many similarities that exist between Lifespace and SQLC,” SQLC Interim CEO Joe Anderson said. “As one entity, our residents should have greater trust in this stronger and more diverse company to deliver a purposeful, compassionate senior living experience with dignity and respect.”

Anderson is very familiar with both organizations. He joined Lifespace in 2016 as senior vice president for business development to help the organization expand through mergers and acquisitions.

“No one understands the opportunities in our profession better than Joe Anderson,” Bentley said at the time. “He sees the inevitable consolidation of providers as our industry attempts to respond to the aging of America and the demand for exceptional housing and healthcare services.”

Anderson worked for American Baptist Homes of the West for more than 20 years and founded and was president of Seniority Inc., a sales, marketing and management firm that was launched in 1997 as a wholly owned subsidiary of ABHOW.

SQLC bought Seniority from Cornerstone Affiliates (now HumanGood), under which ABHOW and sister company had been operating since their May 2016 affiliation. Seniority operates the SQLC communities.

In 2016, Bentley said the arrangement was “beneficial to Lifespace” because “SQLC represents in properties and practice the kind of exceptional senior living that Lifespace seeks to create.”

Anderson was named president and CEO of SQLC in October 2017, becoming the only full-time employee at the nonprofit’s corporate office while others associated with the organization moved into new positions.