January 7, 2018 / 1:55 PM / in a year

Fresenius CFO backs acquisition course -Boersen-Zeitung

FRANKFURT, Jan 7 (Reuters) - German healthcare group Fresenius will continue to look for acquisitions even if that leads to a temporary rise in debt, Boersen-Zeitung quoted the company's finance chief as saying.

Last year Fresenius bought U.S. generic drugmaker Akorn Inc for $4.8 billion, the biosimilars arm of Germany's Merck KGaA for as much as 670 million euros ($806 mln) and closed a 5.8 billion euro acquisition of Spanish hospital chain Quironsalud.

Rachel Empey, finance chief since last August, was asked in an interview with Boersen-Zeitung whether she unhesitatingly backed the proactive acquisition strategy. "By all means," she said.

"Fresenius generates a very high and above all stable free cash flow and is able to scale back the debt burden after acquisitions quickly," Empey, a British national who joined Fresenius in August from Telefonica Deutschland, said in the interview published on Saturday. ($1 = 0.8314 euros) (Reporting by Kathrin Jones; Writing by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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