Investors demand clarity from Fresenius over dialysis group FMC

By Thomson Reuters May 17, 2024 | 3:06 AM

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Investors demanded more clarity from German healthcare group Fresenius SE on Friday regarding its plans to cede strategic control over dialysis group Fresenius Medical Care.

“The volatility at Fresenius Medical Care seems to repeatedly overshadow the recent positive operating developments at Fresenius and is also deterring many potential shareholders from investing in Fresenius,” said Hendrik Schmidt, corporate governance expert at fund manager DWS.

Though the change to FMC’s legal structure and the deconsolidation of Fresenius mark a first step, the complete separation is still pending and there is no clear timeline for the move, Schmidt said.

“Thus, despite the deconsolidation, the share price of Fresenius SE remains vulnerable to operational and strategic difficulties at Fresenius Medical Care.”

Fresenius still holds a stake of around 32% in the dialysis specialist, which was deconsolidated at the end of November following a change to the legal structure.

FMC faced difficulties during the pandemic, with more dialysis patients than usual dying and a shortage of nursing staff. FMC thwarted the healthcare group’s annual targets several times, but its performance is now improving.

Fresenius CEO Michael Sen, who took over in 2022, has been driving forward the realignment of the DAX-listed company and has sold various peripheral businesses.

(Reporting by Patricia Weiss, Writing by Friederike Heine; editing by Matthias Williams)