Kindred and RehabCare merger moves forward

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The Federal Trade Commission has given antitrust clearance to Kindred Healthcare's plan to purchase RehabCare Group for $1.3 billion in stock, cash payments and debt assumption.

When the transaction was announced in February, the deal was predicted to close by June 30 and the boards of both organizations had approved the merger. The FTC issued the deal early termination under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, which requires review of significant mergers and acquisitions.

Combined, the two companies would create the largest post-acute care provider in the United States, consisting of 226 nursing and rehabilitation centers, 118 long-term acute-care hospitals and 121 inpatient rehabilitation hospitals. The move comes as hospitals and post-acute providers are preparing to meet accountable care organization requirements recently proposed by the Obama administration.