(Corrects paragraph 5 to remove reference of Gentiva favoring
an alternative proposal)
July 21 Kindred Healthcare Inc said it
is prepared to buy Gentiva Health Services Inc for
$17.25 per share, matching an offer by an unnamed party last
Gentiva shares were marginally up at $18 after markets
closed on Monday.
Kindred can make a raised offer if it was permitted to
conduct diligence, the hospital operator said in a letter to
Gentiva's board on Monday.
It was also willing to enter into "appropriate
confidentiality and standstill agreements".
Gentiva last week rejected Kindred's offer to buy a stake in
the home healthcare services provider. The company also said it
had received a $634.2 million buyout offer from an unnamed
Kindred had earlier bid $16 per share for a 14.9 percent
stake, which would make it the largest single shareholder in
U.S. hospitals and home healthcare service providers have
been hit hard by federal budget spending cuts and lower Medicare
insurance reimbursement rates.
Kindred shares closed at $24.19 on the New York Stock
Exchange on Monday.
(Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore; Editing by Don
Sebastian and Joyjeet Das)