Toledo, OH-based Genacross Lutheran Services intends to join Duluth, MN-based Catholic senior care and services organization Benedictine by the end of the year, Genacross announced Tuesday.

Genacross began looking for a partner in May, President and CEO Rick Marshall told McKnight’s Senior Living. The letter of intent was signed Monday, he added.

“While Genacross is in a stable financial position, the organization had a duty to proactively look to the future to make sure it remains strong and is able to meet the needs of individuals as we move forward,” Marshall said. “We realized that we do not have the resources to address our needs and opportunities and initiated a search for an organization that does.”

Genacross, which changed its name from Lutheran Homes Society in late 2016, said it conducted an “exhaustive” national search that included Lutheran and non-Lutheran entities of for-profit or nonprofit status; Benedictine was chosen as the organization that best supported the mission of Genacross.

“Benedictine provided nearly everything that Genacross was seeking,” Marshall said.  “We share Christian missions, and our values are in complete alignment. They will facilitate needed capital investments and operational support at our facilities. Their size and scope will help us grow in a competitive health care environment.”

Genacross, 160 years old, serves almost 4,000 people in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan through 12 independent living communities, three post-acute / skilled nursing facilities, an adult day center, and family and youth services. The organization employs more than 700 people. “Benedictine is committed to the retention of employees,” Genacross said.

Thirty-five-year-old Benedictine owns and manages 32 senior housing communities with more than 2,000 independent living and assisted living units, as well as 27 skilled nursing facilities with more than 2,200 units, across Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Illinois and Missouri. The organization also offers home healthcare, adult day and transitional care services.

Both organizations now will conduct visits and exchange information.

“With the signing of the letter of intent, we look forward to the due diligence process as we learn more about each other as faith-based, mission-oriented organizations,” Benedictine President and CEO Jerry Carley told McKnight’s Senior Living. Upon completion of the due diligence process, final approval to proceed with the transaction will be required from the Benedictine and Genacross boards and from the Genacross member congregations, he said, adding, “If the transaction is approved, it would likely be completed sometime in 2020.”

At that time, Genacross would become a member organization (subsidiary) of Benedictine, reporting up through its organizational chart. Genacross said it expects that the organization will maintain its name “for a period of time.”

Updated Feb. 5 with additional information from Genacross.