Fresenius Medical Care plans to buy Renal Care Group, Nashville, in a $3.5 billion deal that would make it one of the world's biggest dialysis-care companies.
Fresenius, Bad Homburg, Germany, said it would pay $48 per share for the company. The deal is subject to regulatory approval in the U.S. and Europe.
"This acquisition solidifies Fresenius Medical Care's position as the leader in dialysis services in the U.S.," said Fresenius Chief Executive Officer Ben Lipps. "With its service network, Renal Care Group provides an excellent strategic and geographic fit to Fresenius Medical Care's operations in the world's largest dialysis market."
Fresenius said it hopes to close the deal by the second half of this year, adding that it would create a company with estimated annual global revenue of $7.5 billion.
The deal came as Fresenius reported that its first-quarter profit rose 18% to $107 million for the quarter ended March 31. Revenue rose 10% to $1.61 billion.
Fresenius is one of the biggest dialysis providers worldwide, treating nearly 126,000 patients at more than 1,600 clinics in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. It also provides outpatient services in 1,200 clinics and operates a joint venture for renal care with Kaiser Permanente, a large U.S. HMO.
Renal Care offers dialysis and nephrological care to more than 30,400 patients at 425 outpatient centers in 34 states. It also offers services to more than 200 hospitals. It posted 2004 revenue of $1.35 billion.
Renal Care CEO Gary Brukardt said the deal was a testament to his company's drive to bring treatment to a wide area.
"By joining with Fresenius Medical Care, we will give our associates and affiliated physicians the opportunity to work with the world's leading dialysis therapy company and our shareholders will receive an excellent return on their investment," he said. "We are convinced that our patients will be well served and will continue to receive high-quality dialysis care."