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Brigade Capital Management, the holder of a 5.8% stake in Kindred Healthcare Inc., said it opposes a takeover of the medical-facility operator and home care provider by a group of investors including health insurer Humana Inc., because the price is too low.

Humana and private equity firms TPG Capital and Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe agreed to buy Kindred for $9 a share on Dec. 19. Kindred’s shares closed at $8.60 on Dec. 15, the last trading day before reports emerged of the potential deal, and had risen as high as $11.70 earlier this year.

The $9-a-share offer is “grossly inadequate” and doesn’t account for efforts Kindred has made to improve operations, Brigade said in a letter to Kindred’s chief executive officer. Kindred should remain an independent firm, at least until the turnaround effort can take hold, the investor said.

“The deal price is not reflective of Kindred’s intrinsic value and will short-change existing shareholders,” Donald Morgan, managing partner at Brigade, wrote in the letter. “There is no urgency to sell the company, and conducting a sale process utilizing Kindred’s significantly distorted trailing twelve month performance seems particularly misguided.”

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