June 27 U.S. hospital operator Kindred
Healthcare Inc said on Friday it was prepared to revise
or withdraw its offer to buy Gentiva Health Services Inc
, after reports that the home healthcare services
provider may be trying to buy rival Amedisys Inc.
Kindred said in a letter that it was concerned about
marketplace reports that Gentiva may be trying to acquire
Amedisys Inc while refusing to discuss Kindred's offer.
"The Gentiva board may be pursuing a course that would
disenfranchise its shareholders through a value-destroying and
highly levered transaction with Amedisys," Kindred said.
Earlier in the day, CRT Capital Research analyst Sheryl
Skolnick commented in a note on Amedisys's unusual step of
pre-releasing better-than-expected second-quarter results on
Friday. She said that development made her "highly suspicious"
that Amedisys may have done that so Gentiva or others could make
a higher bid for Amedisys. (bit.ly/TqI0zc)
Kindred said it is "firmly committed" to the proposed deal
and asked Gentiva board to start discussions.
Kindred previously indicated that it would be prepared to
consider raising its bid to buy Gentiva if Gentiva started
discussions and showed additional value.
On June 16, Kindred raised its offer by 50 cents per share
to $14.50 per share in cash or $573 million, a premium of 70
percent to Gentiva's closing price on May 13, the day before
Kindred made its offer public.
In May, Gentiva had adopted a "poison pill" with a trigger
of 15 percent to counter Kindred's hostile bid.
"Poison pills," also called shareholder rights plans, are
designed to stop hostile takeover attempts by triggering the
issuance of new shares that dilute the holdings of investors who
exceed a set threshold.
Kindred said it had made its offer public because Gentiva
was unwilling to discuss a deal. It said a merger would create a
company with adjusted annual revenue of about $7.2 billion that
provides a full spectrum of services to an aging U.S.
(Reporting by Soham Chatterjee; Editing by David Gregorio)