Rhoen expects merger clearance for Fresenius deal early 2014

FRANKFURT Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:22am EST

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FRANKFURT Dec 23 (Reuters) - German hospitals operator Rhoen-Klinikum on Monday said it expects to receive German antitrust clearance for the planned sale of two-thirds of its assets to rival Fresenius SE in early 2014.

"It is becoming apparent that the German competition authority will finalize the main review proceeding initiated for the transaction with Fresenius Helios in early 2014 and will then grant clearance to the transaction," Rhoen said in a regulatory filing.

As part of the deal, Rhoen-Klinikum expects to sell 43 hospitals and 15 outpatient facilities in first quarter of 2014.

The management board of the company currently expects that only a few hospitals will have to be excluded from the scope of the transaction. These would remain with the company or could be sold in the open market, Rhoen said.

The deal will be booked mainly in the financial year 2013, Rhoen said, adding that the management board plans to propose a share buyback in 2014. (Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Christoph Steitz)

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