Benchmark International Advises on Central Emergency Medical Services Inc Sale to Priority Ambulance

Benchmark International has successfully negotiated the sale of Central Emergency Medical Services to Priority Ambulance, a portfolio company of Enhanced Equity Funds. The transaction represents the conjoining of two of the strongest players in the EMS industry in the Southeast US.

Based in Atlanta, Central EMS provides advanced life support, basic life support, critical care and nonemergency transport options from 13 stations throughout the state. Eight stations are located in the Atlanta metro area and its surrounding counties. Central EMS also serves Northeast Georgia from an Athens location; Central Georgia from Macon, Dublin and Newnan stations; and Southeast Georgia from a station in Savannah.

Central EMS transports approximately 50,000 patients annually with 77 ambulances. The company specializes in ambulance transport service between hospitals and other health care facilities, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities and long distance transports, as well as contracts for special event medical coverage. Central EMS currently employs more than 340 EMTs, paramedics, communication and billing specialists.

Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Priority Ambulance provides the highest level of clinical excellence in emergency and nonemergency medical care to the communities it serves. Throughout its national service area, more than 1,000 highly trained paramedics and EMTs staff more than 170 state-of-the-art ambulances with the latest medical equipment and technology.

Priority Ambulance provides emergency and nonemergency medical transport options to communities in Tennessee, Alabama, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Georgia. Operating as Priority Ambulance, the company serves Knox, Loudon and Blount counties in East Tennessee. Priority Ambulance operates as Kunkel Ambulance in Utica, New York; as Trans Am Ambulance in Olean, New York; as Shoals Ambulance in Alabama; as Seals Ambulance in Indiana; and as Central EMS in Georgia.

Dara Shareef, Director at Benchmark International, stated, “It was a pleasure to represent Central Emergency Medical Services in this transaction. Combining management teams with hundreds of years of experience, backed by a strong private equity investor we believe the partnership with Priority Ambulance will be extremely successful within the EMS industry. We wish both parties the best of luck moving forward.”

Graham Woodard, Senior Associate at Benchmark International, stated, “Benchmark’s ability to create a competitive bid process for our client was instrumental in this transaction. At the end of the day, we believe our client found the perfect fit to continue and grow in the EMS industry and preserve a merited legacy.”

Central Emergency Medical Services Founder and CEO, Gary Coker, stated, “I am extremely pleased with the partnership that we have developed with Priority under the guidance of Benchmark International. I believe that the Central EMS and Priority Ambulance combined management teams will be able to deliver powerful results within the industry. I would like to thank all the members of the Benchmark International transaction team that worked diligently to produce this result and feel strongly we could not have achieved this without them by my side every step of the way.”

About Benchmark International

Benchmark International’s global offices provide business owners in the middle market and lower middle market with creative, value-maximizing solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. To date, Benchmark International has handled engagements in excess of $5 billion across 30 industries worldwide. With decades of global M&A experience, Benchmark International’s deal teams, working from 13 offices across the world, have assisted hundreds of owners with achieving their personal objectives and ensuring the continued growth of their businesses.

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