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The Associated Press August 9, 2010, 2:24PM ET

Odyssey shareholders OK acquisition by Gentiva

Hospice care provider Odyssey HealthCare Inc. said Monday its shareholders approved a merger agreement providing for the company's acquisition by Gentiva Health Services Inc.

The deal is expected to be completed around Aug. 16.

Gentiva, an Atlanta-based home health care provider, said in May it would pay $27 for each Odyssey share. Based on Odyssey's 33.8 million shares outstanding at March 31, the deal was valued at $912.3 million.

The companies said the deal will create a hospice care provider with an average daily patient census of about 14,000 and operations in 30 states. They anticipate the combination will create a company with more than $1.8 billion in annual revenue.

Odyssey said Monday stockholders representing about 80 percent of its outstanding shares entitled to vote approved the merger.

Shares of Odyssey rose 6 cents to $26.87 in Monday afternoon trading, while Gentiva stock climbed 5 cents to $21.41.

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