November 13, 2014 / 9:20 AM / 5 years ago

Fresenius Medical takes over U.S. healthcare group Cogent

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s Fresenius Medical Care (FMEG.DE) said it agreed to take over Cogent Healthcare, a U.S. provider of specialist physicians to hospitals, as part of its drive to offer additional services linked to its core business of kidney dialysis.

The takeover of Cogent, with $250 million in expected 2015 sales, will be carried out by Sound Inpatient Physicians, in which FMC earlier this year took a majority stake.

FMC, which did not disclose financial terms, aims to build a $5 billion care-coordination business by 2020 to offer a wider range of care for the chronically ill as part of an initiative to almost double group sales to $28 billion by then.

Medical insurers in the United States are gradually moving toward a system of lump-sum payments for taking care of dialysis patients rather than reimbursing individual drugs and services, which FMC believes requires it to broaden its offering.

Insurers hope that the system, called care coordination or disease management, will encourage healthcare providers to work more diligently toward preventing medical complications and increase patients’ compliance with treatment regimens.

For Sound Inpatient with $500 million in annual revenue, FMC paid more than 1.5 times expected sales, taking a majority stake which a person familiar with the matter at the time said was above 80 percent, for a purchase price of $600 million.

That sales multiple, if applied to the Cogent purchase, would suggest a purchase price of more than $375 million.

The German group expects the Cogent deal to improve group earnings within 18-24 months after closing, taking into account transaction and integration costs as well as synergies.

The transaction will be financed through available cash and is expected to be closed by year-end.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Thomas Atkins

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