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HBF CEO John Van Der Wielen and Life Ready co-founder and COO Jessica Laurs
HBF to expand into physiotherapy industry through acquisition of Life Ready
HBF, one of Australia’s fastest growing private health insurers, is pleased to announce it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire 100% of physiotherapy and allied health business Life Ready Health Group (Life Ready).
Life Ready is the largest diversified physiotherapy group headquartered in Western Australia. The group has 32 clinics in WA, Victoria, and Queensland and employs more than 400 people nationwide working across three businesses:
The acquisition of Life Ready is in line with HBF’s strategy of expanding into health services, building on the launch of HBF Dental in February 2021, investment in Pacific Smiles Group (ASX: PSQ), and HBF’s alliance with Pharmacy 777. Life Ready’s national footprint also aligns with HBF’s growing membership on Australia’s East Coast.
John Van Der Wielen, HBF Chief Executive Officer, said: “As a purpose-driven organisation, HBF has been making serious investments to expand into health services and become integrated in the health sector to deliver greater value for our members and provide opportunities to improve their health outcomes.
“We know there is strong demand for physiotherapy services – it was our third most claimed ancillary benefit last financial year, accessed by around 160,000 members – and this acquisition will see HBF become the first private health insurer in Australia to meaningfully expand into retail and corporate physiotherapy.
“Life Ready represents an excellent strategic fit for HBF given its commitment to high quality, client-focused care, a significant presence where our members live nationally, and a strong track record of growth. I look forward to warmly welcoming over 400 Life Ready practitioners and support staff to HBF in the coming months.”
Dr Daniel Heredia, HBF Executive General Manager – Health, said: “Acquiring Life Ready enables HBF to further improve the physical wellbeing of our members and the community. It will see HBF provide high-quality preventative and rehabilitative physiotherapy treatment via both Life Ready’s clinics and in-home through its mobile services, as well as early intervention and work health services for corporate clients via Biosymm.
“We’ve already seen a strong community response from our expansion into dental, with around 11,000 patients since our first HBF Dental centre opened less than 12 months ago. 75 dental and support staff now work across five HBF Dental centres in Perth, with plans to add two more centres by the middle of this year.
“Just like our expansion into dental, HBF is committed to maintaining choice for members and the broader community – our members will always be able to choose where they go to for physiotherapy treatment and Life Ready’s services will be open to anyone.”
Life Ready founder and CEO Ben Trinh (based in Melbourne)
Ben Trinh, Life Ready Founder and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Since our inception, Life Ready has been passionate about discovering new and innovative pathways to raise the bar of our profession. We love people, we love to challenge the status quo, and we love to innovate by embracing and driving change to deliver on our purpose – to help our industry and patients move toward their best quality of life.
“Joining with HBF is the next step in our evolution to keep delivering on our purpose. In partnering with a not-for-profit organisation that is committed to looking after its more than one million members across Australia, we have the opportunity to achieve far more for the wellbeing of more people than we could have ever dreamed and provide additional wellness offerings for our corporate clients.”
The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of Q1 CY22 and no formal regulatory approvals are required. Consideration is currently confidential, with the purchase price to be funded by HBF’s existing cash reserves from its continued strong balance sheet.
HBF will work closely with Life Ready to explore opportunities to provide greater value for HBF members. In addition, HBF will provide enhanced corporate expertise across a range of areas including health management, governance, marketing, HR and IT to support Life Ready’s next phase of growth.
Contact HBF: Adrian Watson, email@example.com / 0419 040 807
About Life Ready Health Group
Life Ready started as a physiotherapy clinic in Yokine, Western Australia in 2011 and has expanded into three distinct brands:
More than 400 passionate individuals work at Life Ready, dedicated to moving people towards their best quality of life through a commitment to high quality, client-focused care.
HBF was founded in Perth in 1941 and has provided private health insurance to generations of Western Australians. In 80 years HBF has grown to become Australia’s second largest member-based not-for-profit health fund, providing hospital and ancillary insurance to around one million members nationwide. HBF is also becoming a more active participant in health services, with the establishment of its Pharmacy 777 alliance and the recent launch of HBF Dental. HBF is committed to actively connecting with and supporting the communities in which it operates as a trusted member-based organisation. Visit hbf.com.au
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