Chicago-based lower middle-market private equity firm Waud Capital Partners (WCP), has acquired Harrison, N.Y.-based Ivy Rehab Network Inc. in a management buyout, in partnership with Ivy’s founder and CEO Michael Neuscheler, and the president of Ivy Midwest, Dave Franklin.

Ivy represents an attractive entry point for WCP into the highly fragmented and growing outpatient rehabilitation therapy market and serves as a platform to execute a robust growth strategy driven by de novo openings, acquisitions and strategic partnerships in both existing and new geographic markets.

In conjunction with the buyout, WCP has also added another industry-leading executive, Jeremy VanDevender, to Ivy’s senior leadership team in the Northeast region.

Founded in 2003 by Michael Neuscheler, Ivy provides management support services to a network of 45 outpatient physical therapy centers, consisting of 39 centers in the N.Y.-N.J.-Conn. Tri-State area and six centers recently opened in the Midwest (Ind. and Ill.). The company provides a comprehensive offering of physical therapy services through its clinics in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States.

“I am thrilled to partner with Waud Capital in Ivy’s next stage of growth,” said Ivy’s CEO, Michael Neuscheler. “Partnering with Waud Capital will provide us with access to significant growth capital and incremental expertise that will allow us to accelerate the pace at which we pursue acquisitions, de novo growth opportunities and strategic partnerships.”

“We are thrilled to formalize our partnership with Michael, Dave, Jeremy and the other members of the Ivy team,” said David Neighbours, partner at Waud Capital. “Having established a deep understanding of the company over the last several years, we are confident that Ivy is poised to capitalize on a robust, multi-pronged growth strategy and we have committed significant equity capital to support it.”

Waud Capital Partners, founded in 1993, partners with management teams to acquire or create platforms in the U.S. lower middle market through control-oriented growth equity investments, industry consolidation, buyouts or recapitalizations.

The firm seeks to invest $50 million to $100 million (including follow-on investments) of total equity in each platform company and employs a disciplined three-phase investment strategy with staged investments designed to generate superior risk-adjusted returns.

WCP targets services businesses in large, growing, fragmented markets within two industries: healthcare services and business and technology services. Typically, the initial platform companies in which WCP invests have enterprise values between $50 million and $250 million. The firm has approximately $2.1 billion in assets under management. Since its founding, WCP has successfully completed more than 190 investments, including platform companies and follow-on opportunities.

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