HELIOS Kliniken GmbH, a subsidiary of Fresenius, expands its presence in the German hospital market. The company has agreed to acquire 94.7% of the share capital in Damp Group.

Damp operates seven acute care hospitals and four post acute care hospitals with a total of 4,112 beds (thereof 2,649 in acute care) and is among the ten largest private hospital operators in Germany. In addition, Damp operates eight outpatient medical care centers, two nursing care facilities with a total of 606 beds and a wellness resort. The company has 5,971 full-time employees.

The acquisition of Damp is an excellent geographic fit with the HELIOS hospital network in the north and northeast of Germany. The Damp hospitals enjoy a strong local market position and offer considerable growth potential. Both Damp and HELIOS were co-founders of the leading German medical quality initiative "Initiative Qualitätsmedizin".

In 2010, Damp achieved sales of €487 million and operating profit (EBIT) of €21 million. Acute care contributed 73% to total sales, post acute care 20%. The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

Ulf Mark Schneider, CEO of Fresenius, commented: "We take advantage of this excellent opportunity to acquire a well-positioned and profitable company to strengthen HELIOS' presence in the German hospital market. As demonstrated with the acquisition of the privately-owned hospital operator Humaine in 2006, we will integrate Damp into the HELIOS network and achieve margin improvements in line with our established financial targets. Our focus on acquiring public-sector hospitals remains unchanged as we see a rebound in the German hospital privatization market."

The acquisition is still subject to the approval of local and antitrust authorities. Due to the geographic proximity of the HELIOS hospital Schwerin, HELIOS has to divest the Damp hospital Wismar (505 beds, sales of approximately €60 million) to secure regulatory clearance of the transaction.

HELIOS anticipates to close the transaction in the first half of 2012. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Fresenius Group's earnings per share in 2013.

The acquisition will be financed from cash flow and debt. For 2012, the Damp acquisition and Fresenius Medical Care's recently announced acquisitions are not expected to lead to Group leverage above the target range of 2.5 to 3.0 net debt/EBITDA.