Kindred Healthcare shareholders approve Humana deal

Kindred Healthcare shareholders have approved a takeover by Humana and two private equity firms.

The approval comes after a Delaware judge dismissed a preliminary injunction request from Brigade Capital. The hedge fund, which has a 5.8% stake in Kindred, argued the $9-per-shareholder deal is below market value.

RELATED: Kindred shakes shareholder lawsuit, pushes forward with Humana deal

However, the judge did require Kindred to hold an extended five-day voting period. Despite the hedge fund urging shareholders to deny the deal, 77% approved the $4.1 billion acquisition, according to an SEC filing on Thursday.

“We are pleased that the transaction with the consortium received the broad support of our stockholders in recognition of the robust process undertaken by the Board to achieve maximum value,” Kindred President and CEO Benjamin A. Breier said in a statement. “We look forward to completing the transaction in the coming months and delivering premium cash value to our stockholders.”

RELATED: Humana emphasizes ‘robust data sharing,’ analytics and digital tools in Kindred acquisition

The deal is expected to close this summer, with Humana paying $800 million for a 40% stake in the company. The insurer also retains the rights to eventually buy out the remaining 60% owned by TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe.

Humana has said it plans to leverage data and analytics to push forward with initiatives to leverage digital tools for the home health population. According to one home health CEO, consolidation across the sector can improve partnerships with hospitals that want to reduce readmission rates.

At the same time, Walmart is also reportedly looking to purchase Humana to expand its reach into healthcare.