Brookdale seeing progress in wake of Emeritus acquisition

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The Emeritus deal has caused short-term challenges for Brookdale.
The Emeritus deal has caused short-term challenges for Brookdale.

Brookdale Senior Living says it's confident it has calmed much of the 2015 tumult in the wake of an Emeritus acquisition that led to short-term occupancy dips, management turnover and less-than-expected earnings performance.

“We're encouraged by the progress we've been making on the basic blocking and tackling of our business, aided by having the bulk of our systems integration activities now behind us,” Rob Borella, the vice president of corporate communications and marketing tells McKnight's Senior Living. “Integrating a platform as large as Emeritus has obviously required a monumental amount of work and has certainly been a challenge.”

The Emeritus acquisition in July 2014 made the Brentwood, TN-based company the nation's largest senior living operator. But the company faced criticism in the coming months over challenges in absorbing Emeritus, as well as community management turmoil and some minor marketing glitches. In February 2015, following a period of disappointing earnings performance to some, one major shareholder even demanded the company spin off its real estate holdings and revamp its governance board. The following September, the company was identified as one of a half-dozen possible takeover targets in a report by Goldman Sachs Group. Analysts cited the Emeritus flap as a contributing factor.

“We are not yet finished with the overall integration, as there is still work to do to optimize the use of the systems and processes that are now in place throughout the organization,” Borella adds. “We're also excited about the recent additions we have made to our executive leadership team.” 

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