Rhoen lawyer says investor row could drag on until 2015
FRANKFURT, June 17
FRANKFURT, June 17 (Reuters) - A lawyer representing Rhoen-Klinikum's Chairman Eugen Muench said the looming legal battle with a dissenting shareholder over the hospital chain's deal strategy could drag on for well over 18 months, delaying a possible takeover.
Rhoen said last week that a shareholder who opposed a takeover of the German hospitals group will contest a shareholder vote to remove a barrier to any future deals because his votes were rejected as invalid.
"A dispute over the non-acceptance of votes could be with the Federal Court of Justice in about 18 months if there are repeated appeals with the lower courts," Franz Enderle of lawfirm Bub Gauweiler & Partner, who advises Rhoen chairman and founder Eugen Muench, told Reuters on Monday.
He added the Federal Court already had quite a backlog of cases, making it hard to predict how long it would take from there.
Last Wednesday, Rhoen owners had unexpectedly voted to scrap a requirement in its bylaws for shareholders holding 90 percent of its capital to approve major decisions.
The vote could have put Rhoen back in the sights of diversified healthcare group Fresenius, whose 3.1 billion euro ($4.1 billion) takeover attempt was thwarted last year
However, the motion was only passed after votes belonging to the owner of medical supplies maker B. Braun, a shareholder who contested the Fresenius deal, were dismissed as invalid by Chairman Muench.
A spokeswoman for B. Braun declined to comment.
($1 = 0.7498 euros) (Editing by Peter Dinkloh)
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