Indiana, Cook County firms interested in Vermilion Manor

DANVILLE — Vermilion County officials will soon be turning over to county board members one or two offers to purchase the Vermilion Manor Nursing Home, one from an Indiana-based company that owns a facility in Danville and a second offer from a company headquartered in Cook County that owns facilities in Savoy and Gilman.

Having just completed visits to the companies' long-term care facilities in the area, Vermilion County Board Chairman Gary Weinard said Wednesday that he believes the county has two very good companies willing to buy the nursing home and capable of operating the county-owned facility on Catlin-Tilton Road just west of Tilton.

One offer is from Ide Management Group, which is headquartered in Greenfield, Ind., and owns North Logan Healthcare, 801 N. Logan Ave., Danville, and Paris Healthcare in Paris.

And the other offer is from FNR Healthcare Group, which is headquartered in Skokie, and owns the Gilman Healthcare Center in Gilman and Champaign-Urbana Nursing and Rehab in Savoy, which it just acquired within the last several months, said Bill Donahue, the county's attorney.

He said both companies have already attached a dollar figure to their offers, and while the county is looking for the best value for county property, it's also looking for the best fit for the community.

"So, it's a little more complex than just dollars and cents," Donahue said.

In the last week, county administrators, along with some staff from Vermilion Manor, visited the four facilities that the two companies own in East Central Illinois to see firsthand how they are run.

Weinard said the facilities were clean and had good staff, and good staff-patient relationships.

Donahue said one or both offers will soon be turned over to the county board's nursing home committee for consideration at a special meeting to be scheduled. He said he can't say at this point whether one or both offers will be submitted to the nursing home committee for consideration.

Last week, county administration officials met with representatives from both companies prior to the facility visits. Donahue said both companies have visibly demonstrated a commitment to quality care for residents and the ability to successfully manage a nursing home in a challenging environment. He said both would serve the community well.

The county board has discussed selling Vermilion Manor for years as the facility has gone through financial ups and downs that have sometimes required the county to step in with financial assistance. After a serious cash flow crisis more than a year ago because of slow Medicaid reimbursements from the state, the county board decided to ask voters last November for the authority to sell the nursing home, and they did.

The county then retained Marcus and Millichap, a firm specializing in transactions involving nursing homes, and it has assisted the county in reviewing each potential buyer. The county received five offers altogether but narrowed it to these two.

Ide Management Group is owned by Mark Ide, who is also the company's president. He spent 15 years working for nonprofit social services organizations, according to the company's website, and in 1997, founded Ide Management Group located in the Indianapolis area. The company bought its first skilled-nursing facility in 1998 and owns 28 skilled nursing and assisted-living facilities in Illinois, including North Logan Healthcare in Danville, and in Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa, and employs more than 2,200.

According to the company's website, Ide Management Group has a team of acquisition specialists who provide support in business development, change management, clinical compliance, operation oversight, staff development and vendor partnerships, and they seek out and evaluate facilities for acquisition to provide for the continued growth of the company.

FNR Healthcare Group is a private equity group involved in the acquisition of nursing homes, retirement centers and ancillary companies serving the health care industry for more than 30 years, according to its website. The group has a national portfolio valued at more than $1 billion. FNR group partners with Premier Healthcare Management to operate its facilities, including the ones in Gilman and Savoy, Donahue said. He said Premier Healthcare would manage Vermilion Manor if FNR is the buyer.

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