Kindred Healthcare Inc. said Thursday it has reached a definitive agreement to buy Gentiva Health Services Inc. in a cash and stock deal valued at $1.8 billion, including debt. Kindred will pay $19.50 per Gentiva share. The companies expected the deal to close in the first quarter of 2015. The combined entity will have pro forma annual revenues of about $7.1 billion and operating income of $1.0 billion. Gentiva shares surged 9%in premarket trade on the news, and are up 6.2% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.5%. Kindred shares gained 7.4% in premarket trade, and are flat in the year so far.
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