FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The supervisory board of German healthcare company Fresenius (FREG.DE) will look into the possibility of a fresh takeover offer for rival hospitals operator Rhoen-Klinikum (RHKG.DE) this week, three people familiar with the process said on Tuesday.
An attempt by Fresenius to take control of Rhoen faltered last month because the suitor failed to attain the 90 percent ownership threshold needed to win full control, following the purchase of a Rhoen stake by unlisted competitor Asklepios ASKLP.UL.
It is not clear whether the Fresenius supervisory board will approve a renewed bid, two sources said. “It can go either way,” said one, who declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
In April Fresenius unveiled a plan to buy Rhoen for 3.1 billion euros ($3.9 billion). But it failed to get 90 percent of the shares to win control of Rhoen’s cash flow.
After rival Asklepios snatched more than 5 percent of Rhoen’s shares, other shareholders decided not to tender theirs, leaving Fresenius with an 84.3 percent stake, which was not enough for the deal to go through.
Sources told Reuters earlier this month that Fresenius was now willing to settle for 50 percent of Rhoen plus one share, which at least would give it access to Rhoen’s dividend.
If Fresenius is to make a new offer within 12 months of the previous one, it needs the approval of the German market regulator BaFin as well as Rhoen’s management board.
Three people familiar with the process said that at the moment there was no agreement with Rhoen’s management.
Fresenius has not yet filed a request with BaFin, two sources said.
BaFin, Fresenius and Rhoen-Klinikum declined to comment. ($1 = 0.8013 euros)
Reporting by Andreas Kroener and Alexander Huenber, writing by Harro ten Wolde; editing by John Wallace