* Motion by Alecta gets 90.54 pct approval at AGM
* Motion had been widely expected to be rebuffed
* Removal of hurdle could lure back one-time bidder
* Shares jump 12 percent post-market
(Adds details and share activity)
FRANKFURT, June 12 Rhoen-Klinikum's
owners unexpectedly voted to scrap a requirement for
shareholders holding 90 percent of its capital to approve major
strategic decisions, which could put the German hospital
operator back onto Fresenius's shopping list.
A proposal by Swedish pension firm Alecta at Rhoen's annual
general meeting on Wednesday to remove the hurdle, which would
also apply for a takeover of Rhoen, was supported by 90.54
percent of shareholders, enough for the motion to succeed.
Shares in Rhoen-Klinikum jumped more than 13 percent in
The threshold, initially introduced to prevent an
unsolicited takeover, proved insurmountable when diversified
healthcare group Fresenius last year tried to buy
Rhoen for 3.1 billion euros ($4.13 billion) in an agreed deal.
"We believe that this clause has turned into a stumbling
block for the further development of the company," Marcus
Luettgen, a representative of Alecta, told the AGM ahead of the
vote on Wednesday.
A removal of the clause from Rhoen's bylaws means future
strategic moves will require an approval rate of only 75
percent, as is common in Germany. That could pave the way for a
renewed bid by Fresenius, which has said it remained in
principle interested in Rhoen.
Alecta's motion had widely been expected to be rebuffed
because it required the approval of at least 90 percent of
shareholders. Two major shareholders - Asklepios and the owner
of medical supplies maker B. Braun - have opposed the Fresenius
takeover, and they hold more than 10 percent of shares together.
Rhoen said its management would provide further details on
the matter on Thursday.
($1 = 0.7498 euros)
(Reporting by Frank Siebelt; Writing by Ludwig Burger and Maria
Sheahan; Editing by Jane Baird and Chris Reese)