Fresenius Medical Care, Bad Homburg, Germany, will buy Renal Care Group, Nashville, for $3.5 billion in cash, paying $48 per share, under a definitive agreement. Fresenius said the companies had combined revenue of $7.5 billion in 2004 and as of the end of March were serving 117,000 patients at more than 1,560 dialysis clinics in North America. Fresenius also said the deal would solidify its leadership position in the U.S., a role threatened by DaVita's pending $3.05 billion purchase of Gambro U.S. Healthcare. DaVita, El Segundo, Calif., has received a second request for information on the merger from the Federal Trade Commission. Fresenius' purchase of Renal Care also is subject to FTC approval, which Renal Care executives are "optimistic" about getting, said David Dill, the company's executive vice president and chief financial officer. Fresenius and Renal Care are among the companies recently subpoenaed in a Justice Department probe of the industry. -- by Paul Barr
Fresenius agrees to buy Renal Care for $3.5 billion
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