Housing group: merger of Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen failed

Housing company
The merger of Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen failed

The facade of the headquarters of the listed housing company Deutsche Wohnen SE in Berlin. Photo: Christoph Soeder / dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

Germany’s largest housing group Vonovia has not been able to secure enough shares for the takeover of Deutsche Wohnen. The merger of the real estate groups also failed in the second attempt.

Germany’s largest housing group Vonovia failed again with the planned takeover of the second company in the industry, Deutsche Wohnen.

The Bochum company secured less than the necessary 50 percent of the Deutsche Wohnen shares. Vonovia announced on Friday that the minimum acceptance threshold will probably not be reached.

Vonovia was only able to secure 47.62 percent of the share capital and voting rights in Deutsche Wohnen. Vonovia had written a minimum stake of 50 percent as a condition in the takeover offer. This closing condition was “finally failed”, it says in the message on Monday. The submitted
Deutsche Wohnen shares would be booked back.

Vonovia wanted to create Europe’s largest real estate group with around 550,000 apartments with the takeover of Deutsche Wohnen from Berlin, which cost around 18 billion euros. The management board and 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.

Vonovia boss Rolf Buch had announced on Friday, when the failure of the takeover became apparent, that the group would examine the possible options, “such as a sale of the shares currently held by Vonovia in Deutsche Wohnen, a renewed public offer or the Acquisition of further shares ».

Vonovia had already failed a takeover attempt at Deutsche Wohnen in 2016. Even then, the minimum acceptance rate for the billions in the offer was not reached. In contrast to the new offer, the management board of Deutsche Wohnen had classified the offer as hostile and fiercely opposed the plan. Both companies have now jointly campaigned to accept the offer.

The Federal Cartel Office had already given the green light for the merger of the two largest German residential property groups in June. The joint market shares of the companies did not justify a prohibition of competition law, the competition watchdogs had announced. They referred to the example of Berlin, where around 150,000 of the nearly 1.7 million rental apartments in the city were owned by Deutsche Wohnen and Vonovia.


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