Report: B. Braun moves to block Fresenius' bid for Rhoen

Devicemaker B. Braun has acquired options to buy a stake in hospital operator Rhoen-Klinikum, Reuters reports, a move that throws dirt on Fresenius' efforts to buy the company.

Four German firms--Braun, Fresenius, Sana and Asklepios--are in a bidding battle for Rhoen, and the latest development forces a stalemate among the rival companies, Reuters reports. 

Fresenius announced in April a plan to acquire Rhoen for €3.1 billion ($3.8 billion), but that deal needed the OK from 90% of shareholders, which was blocked after Asklepios bought a 5% share in the hospital operator. Now, Braun's likely purchase of a 5% stake of its own is an attempt to halt Fresenius from launching a new offer, Reuters' sources report.

But Fresenius isn't giving up. The company said it will reach out to Asklepios founder Bernard Broermann to try to reach an agreement and reinvigorate the deal, according to the news service. That, however, seems unlikely, especially if Braun's acquisition goes through. If Braun joins the fray, three of Fresenius' rivals would have stakes in Rhoen, allowing each to block the others' moves.

Braun, which makes catheters and other surgical devices, posted about $5.7 billion in sales last year.

- read the Reuters story