FRANKFURT Aug 21 Unlisted German hospitals chain Asklepios plans to spend at least 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) on buying healthcare facilities from rivals and has focused its attention on Rhoen-Klinikum, a German magazine reported.
Bernard Broermann, Asklepios's owner and founder, is also interested in acquiring Median Kliniken, Germany's largest private-sector chain of rehabilitation clinics, monthly Manager Magazin cited unnamed sources as saying.
People familiar with the matter told Reuters last month that unlisted Median was put up for sale by its private-equity owners as the German healthcare facilities market consolidates, and that Asklepios was among the potential buyers.
Broermann is keen for his company to remain independent and to hold its own against the Helios unit of diversified healthcare group Fresenius, which is growing fast by scooping up hospitals.
Asked about the Manager Magazin report, an Asklepios spokesman said in a written statement that "conjecture is being construed as specific news" and declined to comment further.
Median, owned by buyout firm Advent International and British real estate investor Marcol, runs 43 healthcare facilities and provides post-acute care.
A spokeswoman for Marcol declined to comment and a spokeswoman for Advent was not immediately available.
A Rhoen spokesman said the company, which sold about two thirds of its assets to Fresenius earlier this year, wanted to develop as an independent company and declined to comment further.
Sources have told Reuters that a takeover of Rhoen would be difficult for now because shareholders Eugen Muench, who founded Rhoen, and medical supplies maker B. Braun are in a drawn-out process to decide whether to stay on as co-owners, alongside Asklepios, which also holds a stake. (1 US dollar = 0.7539 euro) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger, Andreas Kroener and Frank Siebelt; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)