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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Comfort Keepers sold to French firm

Comfort Keepers, a locally-based franchisor of in-home health care agencies, has been sold to a global food and facilities manager.

Maryland-based Sodexo Inc. announced Wednesday that it had acquired Comfort Keepers, which posted nearly $300 million in revenue last year, according to Dayton Business Journal research. Comfort Keepers, with 650 locations across North America, sold franchises of in-home health care to franchisees throughout the country. Sodexo Inc. is the U.S. unit of Paris, France-based Sodexo Worldwide.

Comfort Keepers was not immediately available for comment. Terms of the deal were not released.

However, a spokesperson for Sodexo said franchisees will experience only "minor and positive changes." The entire Comfort Keepers leadership and corporate office team also will stay intact, the officials said.

The current team will be kept and will continue to manage daily operations.

Sodexo, according to a news release, is planning to reinforce its quality of life services offering to seniors with the purchase. It also plans to expand its offerings in the senior living segment, in which it pulled in revenue of 800 million euro last year.

In total, Sodexo has an annual revenue of 13.6 billion euro. It has 355,000 employees in 80 countries.

Comfort Keepers, based in Dayton, announced plans last year to open 36 additional locations throughout the country. The company posted $247 million in revenue for 2007 and expected to jump to $300 million last year, according to predictions made by Jim Booth, president and chief executive officer, last year.

As a franchiser, Comfort Keepers is able to increase its market share in 47 states by allowing other people to own and operate branches of the business while the company collects fees and royalties. The initial cost to franchisees is a $32,500 franchise fee, with total start-up costs adding up somewhere between $59,000 to $89,000 in capital. The company pulls in royalty fees equaling 5 percent of each location's sales.

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