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Youth Services to buy N.M. center


Youth Services International Inc., an Owings Mills-based operator of group homes and other facilities for troubled youths, said yesterday that it would acquire the Desert Hills Center for Youth and Families in Albuquerque, N.M.

The $5.4 million purchase is Youth Services' second acquisition in the Southwest in a little more than a month. Last month, it announced it would acquire Developmental Behavioral Consultants Inc., owner of 18 group homes in Arizona.

Youth Services' stock closed yesterday at $10.38, up 25 cents.

Bill Mooney, Youth Services' vice president for finance, said Desert Hills offers treatment for mentally ill and emotionally disturbed young people as well as some correctional programs for juveniles who have had run-ins with the law. He said the Albuquerque facility accommodates about 80 youths.

Under the definitive agreement announced yesterday, Youth Services also will pay Desert Hills' parent company, Introspect HealthCare Corp., $2.5 million in consulting fees over five years.

Youth Services said the agreement also gives it a five-year option to purchase the remaining Introspect businesses.

The Maryland company will also manage for five years the Introspect businesses, which treat about 120 youths in addition to those at Desert Hills.

The purchase price represents a combination of cash and assumed debt, Youth Services said.

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