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Against the backdrop of hot demand for home care, former ABC Home Care CEO Mary Ann Thode made an unusual business decision upon her recent retirement. She donated her northern California nonprofit agency to San Francisco-based nonprofit Institute on Aging.

“I wanted my clients and my employees to be happy with the transaction,” Thode told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse in an email. “IOA has a great reputation for excellent care for their clients and respect for their employees. This was extremely important to me in thinking about donating versus selling.” 

“When you look at the mergers and acquisitions market, it certainly is unusual,” Meredith Scully, IOA vice president of home care and support services, told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. “People are not looking to give away their businesses, so from that perspective, it is unusual.”

Indeed, home care was enjoying a banner year when Thode made her decision to donate, rather than sell. According to mergers and acquisitions advisory firm Mertz Taggart, there were 70 home care transactions last year, nearly double the number of deals in 2020.

Scully said the addition of ABC Home Care will help IOA expand its footprint in the East Bay Area just west of San Francisco. The 50-year-old nonprofit offers a variety of services, including home care and support services, dementia care, Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and a friendship line, which connects isolated seniors to volunteers.

Scully said the acquisition will allow IOA to extend its range of services to ABC clients and other potential clients in the East Bay region.

“If we are servicing a home care client and for whatever reason that situation changes, we are certainly able to look into our organization and see what is going to be the best service to serve this client from beginning to end-of-life care.”

Thode said she was fortunate to have the financial resources to give away her business, rather than sell it. She explained that ABC had become her life’s mission and she wanted the agency’s mission to continue.

“As a not-for-profit organization, IOA truly understands the meaning of mission and the transition has gone extremely well for my clients and employees,” Thode said.