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Kindred pursuing takeover of Gentiva, former Long Island-based health firm

Melville home-health care provider Gentiva Health Services moved

Melville home-health care provider Gentiva Health Services moved headquarters to Atlanta in 2009. Here is its former Hauppauge office. Photo Credit: Google

Kindred Healthcare said Tuesday that it will keep trying to buy health and hospice service provider Gentiva Health Services, which has adopted a shareholder rights plan to ward off Kindred's offer.

Gentiva has rejected Kindred's $533 million offer, which includes $14 per share in cash and stock. On Friday, Gentiva adopted a "poison pill" measure, a defensive tactic intended to make a buyout prohibitively expensive.

In a letter to Gentiva's board, Kindred said it is "disappointed" with the move but won't give up.

"Despite Gentiva's actions, we will not be deterred," said Kindred CEO Paul Diaz. "We are determined to pursue the proposed combination of Kindred and Gentiva and are committed over the long-term to achieving our objective."

Kindred has offered $7 in cash and $7 in its stock for each Gentiva share, a 64 percent premium over the May 14 closing price of Gentiva stock. It went public with its offer after Gentiva's board turned it down, saying the bid is too low and not in the best interest of shareholders.

Kindred Healthcare Inc. runs nursing and rehabilitation centers, and provides home hospice and health services. The combined company would operate in 47 states and serve nearly 127,000 patients each day. Kindred values the deal at $1.6 billion including Gentiva's debt.

Shares of Gentiva Health Services Inc. rose 12 cents to $13.80 in late morning trading while Kindred stock slipped 7 cents to $24.47.

Kindred is based in Louisville, Kentucky, and Gentiva is headquartered in Atlanta.

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