German health care firm Fresenius launches $4.09 bn bid for rival Rhoen-Klinikum

German health care company Fresenius SE today launched a €3.1-billion ($4.09 billion) cash bid for rival Rhoen-Klinikum, in order to create the largest private-sector hospital operator in Germany.

Under the deal, Fresenius has offered to pay €22.50 a share, a premium of 52 per cent to Rhoen-Klinikum's yesterday closing price.

Fresenius said that Rhoen-Klinikum's founder and chairman Eugen Muench, who owns 12.45 per cent of the company, supports the acquisition.

Founded in 1973 and based in Neustadt a. d. Saale,  Rhoen-Klinikum is one of Germany's largest private hospital operators, with 53 hospitals at 43 sites as well as 39 medical care centres throughout Germany.

The company, which had 2011 sales of €2.6 billion, employs more than 39,000 people and last year treated more than 2.2 million patients .

Rhoen-Klinikum said that its board and the supervisory board will ''examine the offer thoroughly and will publish a detailed statement, which will not only relate to the reasonableness of the price, but also whether the bid also safeguards the interests of the company and also especially the legitimate interests of its employees.''