Shareholders of LHC Group OK Merger with UnitedHealth; Keith Myers named function emeritus | enterprise

LHC Group shareholders on Tuesday approved the $5.4 billion merger with UnitedHealth Group, first announced in March.

Optum Health, a national provider of home healthcare services and part of UnitedHealth Group, and LHC Group will merge in a move in which UnitedHealth will acquire the company’s outstanding common stock Lafayette for $170 per share.

The move will add one of the nation’s largest home health care companies to a portfolio that already includes physician groups, clinics and surgery centers, and some home-based services. The combined companies will form the world’s largest home health care company and will be headquartered at LHC Group’s Lafayette office.

Shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of the merger and compensating the company’s officers. More than 27 million votes were either present or represented by proxy.

The Board of Directors of the LHC Group unanimously approved the merger shortly before the announcement.

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According to a May SEC filing, the deal will see current CEO and chairman of the board Keith Myers transitioning to the role of Optum’s chairman emeritus and CEO and senior adviser. Joshua Proffitt, President and Chief Operating Officer of the LHC Group, will become CEO.

Myers will receive a base salary of $550,000 and Proffitt $690,000, and Myers will receive a one-time enrollment payment of $5.5 million on the first regular payroll date after graduation. Proffitt will receive an initial sign-on grant of $3 million in nonqualifying stock options and restricted stock units.

The LHC Group, which employs 30,000 people nationwide ranging from care providers to administrative and support staff, makes 12 million home visits annually and is recognized for providing quality home care. It has 964 locations in 37 states and employs approximately 700 people at its Lafayette office on Hugh Wallis Road.

The company’s leadership team will remain part of Optum Health, which works with more than 100 healthcare plans.

Shares in the LHC Group were valued at $154 per share at the close on Tuesday, compared to $168 on the day the merger was announced.

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