Corporate News | 05/23/2006

RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG:Groth strategy not hampered by refusal of ministerial authorisation

RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG / Statement/MiscellaneousCorporate-announcement transmitted by DGAP - a company of EquityStory AG.The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
Refusal of ministerial authorisation for district hospitals inRhön-Grabfeld does not affect strategy of RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG* Strong growth in revenue continues* Pace of privatisation quickens with German doctors on strikeBad Neustadt a.d. Saale, 22 May 2006 ----- The Federal Ministry ofEconomics on 22 May 2006 published its decision not to grant ministerialauthorisation for the district hospitals in Rhön-Grabfeld. This decisiondoes not affect the strategy of RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG – for various reasons.RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG deliberately chose not to join the ministerialauthorisation procedure initiated by the District of Rhön-Grabfeld, thereason being that such procedure represents a politically influenceddecision taken on an individual-case basis. RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG, on the otherhand, is interested in a decision of landmark character applyingindependent of individual sites. The only way to achieve this is to havethe matter clarified by way of judicial ruling from the Düsseldorf Court ofAppeals. This ruling is expected to come in the autumn of 2006.On a superficial view, the outside observer might be led to draw the wrongconclusion that the German Cartel Office is hampering the Group's furtherexpansion. In fact, though, RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG has consolidated 15 acquiredhospitals since 31 December 2004. All these takeovers – including theheavyweight Universitätsklinikum Gießen und Marburg – were known to theCartel Office and did not give rise to any objections by the latter.Although it is the market leader, RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG currently runs only 45of the some 2,200 acute hospitals in Germany. This should show clearlyenough just how enormous the potential is for takeovers that areunobjectionable from the standpoint of German cartel law.The spread of doctors’ strikes to federal state institutions (universityhospitals and federal state psychiatric facilities) is likely to make theFederal States a lot keener on privatisation in this area, as they will nolonger be willing to foot the bill for the spreading losses. That said, theGroup is not concerned by this wave of strikes because the doctors at theGießen and Marburg sites are not striking.RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG is currently aligning its structures with the aim ofincreasing its absorption and integration capacity for new acquisitions.Brigitte SallweySallwey & PartnerTelemannstr. 18D 60323 Frankfurt/MainTel.: +49(0)69-97 203 628DGAP 22.05.2006
Language: EnglishIssuer: RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG Salzburger Leite 1 97616 Bad Neustadt/ Saale DeutschlandPhone: +49 (0)9771 - 65-0Fax: +49 (0)9771 - 97 467email: www.rhoen-klinikum-ag.comISIN: DE0007042301WKN: 704230indices: MDAXListed: Amtlicher Markt in Frankfurt (Prime Standard), München; Freiverkehr in Berlin-Bremen, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart End of News DGAP News-Service