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Pharos Capital Acquires Employee Benefit Solutions

DALLAS & NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 21, 2014-- Pharos Capital Group, LLC (“Pharos”), a private equity firm based in Dallas and Nashville, has acquired Employee Benefit Solutions, Inc. (“EBS”), a leading provider of healthcare cost containment and wellness programs for small and mid-sized employers. EBS is best known for its primary product, the Difference Card™, an employer-funded debit card programmed for reimbursement of approved out-of-pocket employee healthcare expenditures. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In connection with the transaction, it was also announced that Gregg O. Lehman, Ph.D. has been named as CEO of EBS. Lehman, a seasoned healthcare executive who formerly served as CEO of Gordian Health Solutions, a former Pharos portfolio company in the wellness industry, replaces EBS founder Paul Staubi. Lehman most recently served as CEO of cardio-respiratory medical device manufacturer MGC Diagnostics, and prior to that was CEO of population health management company Health Fitness Corporation. Staubi retains a minority stake in EBS and will serve on the company’s Board.

EBS, headquartered in White Plains, New York, is at the forefront of helping employers mitigate rising healthcare costs and promote healthy outcomes. Its client solutions include migrating clients to more affordable healthcare plans, supplying its Difference Card™ to help defray employees’ out-of-pocket healthcare costs, and offering comprehensive wellness solutions for employees.

“With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, controlling healthcare costs is a growing concern for many businesses and should further fuel the impressive growth EBS has achieved over the last six years,” said Joel Goldberg, Partner at Pharos.

Bob Crants, Managing Partner at Pharos, added, “Healthcare remains an important focus for Pharos, and we believe our experience with underserved markets and mid-sized businesses can help EBS take advantage of positive, ongoing trends.”

“Our clients and employees will benefit from Pharos’ impressive history in healthcare, along with the experience of healthcare industry veteran Gregg Lehman," said Mr. Staubi. “I look forward to working with the Pharos team and Gregg as we take the company to the next level."

“It’s an exciting time for me to join and lead the company,” said Mr. Lehman. “EBS has a strong presence in the health benefit and employee wellness industry, and I look forward to building upon Paul’s great work.”

This marks the second investment from Pharos Fund III, following Pharos’ acquisition of behavioral health services provider Seaside Healthcare, Inc. this past January.

Duff & Phelps Securities, LLC served as financial advisor to EBS.

About Employee Benefit Solutions

EBS (www.differencecard.com) is a national company that has been providing cutting-edge healthcare solutions to its clients for over a decade. With offices in White Plains, NY; San Francisco, CA; and Chicago, IL, EBS serves employer groups in almost every state in the continental U.S. EBS’s effective cost containment results coupled with a wellness offering that encourages employees to participate in health assessments, screenings and health webinars, have created strong customer satisfaction, with a client retention rate of nearly 90%.

About Pharos Capital Group

Based in Dallas and Nashville, Pharos Capital Group (www.pharosfunds.com) is a long-term, value-focused investor with over $1 billion in assets under management. Pharos primarily invests $25 to $40 million for majority positions in rapidly growing middle market companies seeking later stage funding for internal growth, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, or recapitalizations across industry sectors, with particular focus on healthcare and business services. Pharos typically invests in undercapitalized businesses in underserved regions across the nation.

Contact:
Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc.
Caroline Luz, 203-656-2829
caroline@blicksilverpr.com


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