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HMA urges shareholders to reject Glenview's plan to remove board

(Reuters) - Hospital operator Health Management Associates Inc is urging its shareholders to reject shareholder Glenview Capital Management's attempt to replace all of its board members with the hedge fund's nominees, according to a federal regulatory filing on Monday.

"Glenview's actions are an unnecessary distraction during this critical time when your board believes its efforts are best spent focused on exploring the best opportunities available to maximize value for all the company's stockholders," HMA's directors said in a letter to shareholders.

The letter was included in the regulatory filing.

Glenview in June proposed a new slate of candidates to replace HMA's current board, saying the company had fallen short in its financial performance for more than a decade.

HMA, which in May announced Chief Executive Gary Newsome would retire at the end of July, has attracted interest from other hospital chains including Community Health Systems Inc about buying the $4 billion hospital company, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this month.

HMA is conducting a search for Newsome's replacement.

(Reporting by Susan Kelly in Chicago)

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