Fresenius raps union concerns over Rhoen-Klinikum jobs

BERLIN Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:57am EDT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - German health group Fresenius (FREG.DE) rebuffed concerns by the Ver.di labor union that thousands of jobs could be lost over its purchase of hospitals from rival Rhoen-Klinikum (RHKG.DE).

"There is no foundation whatsoever to this," a spokesman for the Bad Homburg-based company told Reuters on Saturday.

Ver.di estimates that as many as 7,000 jobs at Rhoen could be axed after Fresenius acquired 43 hospitals and 15 outpatient facilities, weekly business magazine WirtschaftsWoche reported earlier on Saturday.

The transaction, which according to Rhoen does not require a shareholder vote, would make Fresenius's German hospitals unit Helios Europe's largest private hospital operator, Fresenius said in a statement on Friday.

The spokesman for Fresenius dismissed views held by Ver.di health expert Uwe Ostendorff that a quarter of 30,000 jobs at Rhoen may be scrapped, adding the rival is "well positioned."

The sale comes exactly 12 months after Fresenius dropped plans to buy all of Rhoen for 3.1 billion euros after an industry rival and service supplier bought blocking stakes in Rhoen.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer. Additional reporting by Olaf Brenner; editing by Ron Askew.)

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