Atlanta’s Gentiva Health Services acquired by Kindred Healthcare

Kindred Healthcare said today that it is acquiring Atlanta-based Gentiva Health Services for $19.50 a share in cash and stock. The boards of each company approved the deal which is valued at $1.8 billion, including the assumption of debt.

Shareholders of Gentiva, a home health and hospice services provider, will get $14.50 per share in cash and $5 in Kindred common stock. Louisville-based Kindred is a post-acute care and rehabilitation services provider.

The sale price represents a 128 percent premium to Gentiva’s stock price on May 14, the day before Kindred made its first public bid for Gentiva of $14 a share.

Gentiva had rejected that offer.

The combined company will have annual revenue of about $7.1 billion, will serve more than 1 million patients a year in 47 states and employ about 109,000 people, the company said.

It will be the largest operator of long-term acute care hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation facilities in the U.S., it said.

Rod Windley, executive chairman of the Gentiva board, said the company’s focus had been on maximizing value for its shareholders and ensuring the future success of the business.

Tony Strange, Gentiva’s CEO, said the combination, “…will create the largest provider of integrated care in America.”

The combined business will be part of the Kindred at Home division, based in Louisville.