Rhoen-Klinikum announces 1.67 bln euro buyback or dividend

FRANKFURT, April 29 Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:48am EDT

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FRANKFURT, April 29 (Reuters) - German hospitals operator Rhoen-Klinikum said it planned to return almost 1.7 billion euros ($2.35 billion) to shareholders by buying back shares or paying a special dividend.

Rhoen this year wrapped up the sale of 40 hospitals and 13 outpatient facilities to healthcare group Fresenius for 3 billion euros and already said it earmarked up to 1.9 billion euros of the proceeds for distribution to shareholders.

It said on Tuesday it would ask its shareholders for authorisation at its annual general meeting on June 12 to buy back shares and then cancel them. Alternatively, it would pay a dividend of 12.08 euros per share, it said.

($1 = 0.7223 Euros) (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Madeline Chambers)