Fresenius Pays $649M for International Dialysis Centers

Fresenius Medical Care will pay 485 euros ($649.5 million) for International Dialysis Centers, a company currently owned by private equity-backed Euromedic International, Reuters reported. Fresenius is the world’s largest dialysis company. International Dialysis operates 70 clinics, mainly in Eastern Europe. It’s parent company, Euromedic, is owned by Merrill Lynch’s private equity arm and by Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, Reuters said.

(Reuters) – Fresenius Medical Care (FMC) is buying International Dialysis Centers (IDC) from Euromedic International for 485 million euros ($649.5 million) to tap the growing dialysis services market in eastern Europe.

FMC, the world’s largest dialysis company, said on Tuesday IDC would add about $180 million in annual revenue and would start adding to earnings within a year.

The company, which derives more than two thirds of sales from the mature North American market, is looking for faster growth in more fragmented emerging markets such as eastern Europe.

“Eastern Europe is a key component of our overall growth strategy and we are convinced that Euromedic’s clinic network will be an excellent fit with those of Fresenius Medical Care,” FMC Chief Executive Ben Lipps said in a statement.

FMC shares eased 0.3 percent to 42.91 euros by 0807 GMT, while the German blue-chip DAX index <.GDAXI> was down 0.1 percent.

FMC already dominates the U.S. dialysis clinic market alongside rival DaVita . The German company operates about a third of all U.S. facilities, followed by DaVita with 27 percent.

FMC, a unit of Germany’s Fresenius SE , said it will initially fund the transaction from its cash flow and borrowing lines, followed by longer-term refinancing after the closing of the deal, which is expected in the first half.

IDC treats over 8,200 haemodialysis patients, predominantly in central and eastern Europe. It operates 70 clinics in nine countries.

Parent Euromedic is owned by Merrill Lynch’s private equity arm and by Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, the former owner of biotech firm Serono.

By Maria Sheahan and Ludwig Burger