FRANKFURT Feb 20 Germany's antitrust watchdog
gave its nod to the purchase of most of Rhoen-Klinikum
hospitals by diversified healthcare group Fresenius
after some houses were excluded from the deal, the two companies
said in separate statements.
The watchdog, the Federal Cartel Office, said on Thursday
the planned cooperation between Fresenius and what remains of
Rhoen will be assessed separately.
Rhoen-Klinikum said that a large part of the up to 1.9
billion euros ($2.6 billion) in proceeds that had been earmarked
for distribution to shareholders would be paid out in 2014,
"preferably by means of a share repurchase."
It added the transaction will for the most part be closed
until end of February.
The deal cleared by the Federal Cartel Office covers 40
hospitals and 13 outpatient facilities for a purchase price of
about 3 billion euros.
Fresenius had initially planned to buy 43 hospitals and 15
outpatient facilities for 3.07 billion euros.
($1 = 0.7271 euros)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger)