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Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen: Berlin wants clarity about buying a home


In the course of their merger, Deutsche Wohnen and Vonovia wanted to sell 20,000 apartments to Berlin. The merger failed, but the country still wants the units.

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Falkenhagener Feld in Berlin-Spandau: Deutsche Wohnen and Vonovia own many apartments here

Photo: Sabine Gudath / imago images

After the end of the merger of the two largest German housing groups Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen, politicians are demanding clarity about the consequences. The Berlin Senate reiterated its interest in buying 20,000 apartments from the real estate company. »The state has already acquired almost 23,000 residential units in this electoral term. If Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen offer another 20,000, that's good for Berlin, ”said Finance Senator Matthias Kollatz (SPD).

However, it is important that both companies now clarify what the failed merger means for the Berlin acquisition plans. "Berlin is ready for talks," said Kollatz. In view of rising rents in the capital, Berlin wants to bring back as many state-owned apartments as possible. The housing companies had also announced that they wanted to continue the sales talks despite the unsuccessful takeover. After the plans were announced in May, the two groups offered the state of Berlin to sell the apartments as part of the merger.

Vonovia announced on Monday morning that the takeover offer for Deutsche Wohnen had finally missed the target of 50 percent it had set itself.

The largest German landlord was only able to secure 47.62 percent of the share capital and voting rights of Deutsche Wohnen.

The Board of Management and the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Wohnen recommended that the shareholders accept the takeover offer.

The necessary investments in affordable housing, climate protection and new buildings could be shouldered better together after a merger.

Deutsche Wohnen is Berlin's largest private landlord and rents around 114,000 of the more than 155,000 own apartments nationwide in the capital.

Vonovia has around 355,000 apartments in Germany, including around 43,000 in Berlin, according to the annual report.

The German Tenants' Association welcomed the at least temporary failure of the mega merger. "A merger would not have helped the tenants at all," said Association President Lukas Siebenkotten. The tenants' association is therefore happy that the merger did not come about. “We don't see any advantages in getting bigger and bigger housing groups.” Siebenkotten viewed Vonovia's announcement that it would continue to adhere to the limits on rent increases and modernization surcharges promised in the event of a merger. In the case of housing companies, announcements and actions are "not always congruent".

Vonovia boss Rolf Buch blamed hedge funds for the failure of the takeover.

Around 30 percent of the shares in Deutsche Wohnen are owned by investors who have speculated on a better offer.

"Apparently someone miscalculated," Buch told the Handelsblatt.

On Friday, when the failure of the takeover became apparent, Buch announced that the group would examine the possible options.

This also includes a renewed public offer.

Vonovia is the largest shareholder in Deutsche Wohnen with a good 18 percent of the shares.

fdi / dpa

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-07-26

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