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Ally Senior Living, Onelife Merge, Forming 19-Property Operator

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Ally Senior Living has merged with Onelife Senior Living, creating a company with a portfolio of 19 communities in eight states.

The combined company, which is keeping the Onelife Senior Living name and branding, is ready to grow via ownership acquisition and third-party management contracts.

Former Ally Senior Living CEO Dan Williams and Onelife Senior Living CEO Zack Falk are co-leading the new company. WIth the merger now complete, a total of 1,400 employees now work under the Onelife banner.

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Discussions around a possible merger started in earnest last year. Both companies shared similar business philosophies on resident care, employee engagement and workplace culture, according to Williams.

“Our goals at Ally and with Onelife were pretty consistent,” Williams told SHN. “We didn’t have the expertise that they had on the development, financing and capital side of things while they didn’t have the operational expertise like we did, so we know it’s a good fit.”

In 2022, Williams founded Ally with the help of a $100 million fund to buy distressed assets with a focus on memory care communities.

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As it stands, the combined company’s portfolio is near a 50-50 mix of owned communities and third-party management contracts with various ownership groups.

“We’re focusing a lot of our energy right now on recruiting and retention while creating a positive work culture and that will lead to providing the best resident care,” Williams said.

Going forward, Onelife will focus on value-add acquisition of senior living communities, specifically in the memory care and higher acuity care types, including assisted living. Multiple Ally executives are transitioning into new roles with Onelife, and the incoming team brings operations experience that will pair well with Onelife’s development expertise and ownership structure, Williams said.

This year, Onelife is looking to integrate systems between the two newly merged companies. The company also is seeking to add new communities, with multiple pending offers out for potential acquisition and management contracts.

“Our goal is to have three-to-four value-add acquisitions in 2024 and maybe a select few third-party management agreements,” Williams said. “We don’t want to over-extend our skis.”

That mindset of methodical growth could be a guiding principle for Onelife going forward, with no set number of communities to reach with an emphasis on creating regional density in markets with existing Onelife communities, Williams added.

On future transactions, Williams said Onelife was “well-capitalized” and prepared to be “active and execute” when the right opportunity surfaces. While development remains tough, Williams said short-term growth would most likely include acquisition or third-party management.

For future development opportunities, WIlliams added that could come in major midwestern metropolitan markets. Onelife recently opened a 103-unit assisted living community in Springfield, Oregon as the ink dried from the recent merger. Last November, Onelife recently expanded to the Chicago area with the acquisition of a community in suburban Vernon Hills.

“We want to stay in the needs-based care type side of things,” Williams said. “We like AL and memory care and we’re still bullish on that as a future product.”
In September of last year, Denver-based Onelife reported that its portfolio was 90% occupied with focusing on stabilization and recovery.

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