Independent proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. recommended Kindred Healthcare Inc. shareholders vote in favor of a $4.1 billion merger deal.
Louisville, Ky.-based Humana Inc., alongside private equity firms TPG Capital Management LP and Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, have offered to buy the healthcare services for $9 per share.
Activist investor Brigade Capital Management, which holds a 5.8% stake in the medical-facility operator, has opposed the merger and plans to vote against it in a special meeting of shareholders March 29.
Kindred continues to expect to close the transaction in the summer of 2018.
Kindred President and CEO Benjamin Breier said the deal offered "certain cash value" to existing shareholders given the "significant operational, regulatory, reimbursement and capital structure risks" the company is facing due to high leverage and pending debt maturities.