Bochum / Berlin (dpa) – In the tough struggle to take over Deutsche Wohnen, Vonovia boss Rolf Buch made what he saw as the decisive move.
«Vonovia will open Deutsche Wohnen take over in any case », said book of the German press agency, after the largest German landlord had deleted the minimum acceptance threshold from its takeover offer for the number two on the housing market on Monday evening.
If after the expiry of the Vonovia extended the acceptance period until October 4 below the previously targeted 50 percent plus one share, there are various options to take over Deutsche Wohnen, explained Buch. For example, there could be a capital increase at Deutsche Wohnen from which other shareholders would be excluded. In addition, Vonovia could take over just under another percent of the shares that are still held by Deutsche Wohnen itself.
«If that is not enough to 50 percent , we can buy as much paper on the stock market until we cross the threshold, ”said Buch. The abolition of the minimum acceptance threshold is no surprise for the capital market. That was already provided for in the takeover offer and in the agreement with Deutsche Wohnen. “It was an option from the start,” said Buch.
The price of the Deutsche Wohnen share rose slightly on the stock exchange and was on Tuesday afternoon at 53, 02 euros slightly above Vonovia’s offer of 53 euros per share.
Vonovia had grown strongly in recent years through acquisitions under Buch. He wants to continue on this course with the takeover of Deutsche Wohnen. Both companies together own around 570. 000 apartments. The deal is particularly controversial in Berlin, where Deutsche Wohnen owns around 114. 000 apartments.
In order to appease critics, Buch had announced, among other things, a limit on the regular rent increases in Berlin up to the year 2026. Vonovia announced that these commitments would continue to exist. In Berlin, on the day of the Bundestag election, a referendum on the expropriation of large housing groups will be voted on.
The sale of more than 14. 000 Apartments from the portfolio of the two companies to the State of Berlin is now on the home straight. The supervisory boards of several state-owned housing associations have approved the purchase. “The planned home purchase is almost there,” said Finance Senator Matthias Kollatz (SPD) on Monday. Details such as the location and condition of the apartments are not yet publicly known. According to reports, they cost a total of 2.4 billion euros.
“Rolf Buch closed the sack”
Also the managing director of the German Association for the Protection of Securities (DSW), Marc Tüngler, sees the takeover of Deutsche Wohnen in the meanwhile third attempt in the towel. “Rolf Buch closed the sack,” said Tüngler. Vonovia is making the takeover watertight by waiving the conditions. “Now it is clear that the deal is coming.”
This will increase the pressure on the remaining Deutsche Wohnen shareholders, said Tüngler. Buch has already stated that there will be no dividends from the Berliners in the future if he has the say at the general meeting. “Life is getting rockier for a Deutsche Wohnen shareholder.” Buch had announced that Deutsche Wohnen’s liquid funds should in future be increasingly used for capital and investment requirements.
Michael Kunert from the protection association of capital investors accused Vonovia, the Deutsche Wohnen shareholders of the To put pistol on the chest. “This is chicane,” he said.
The Vonovia boss had already failed twice with the takeover of the previous competitor. He had already 2016 ridden a first attack on Deutsche Wohnen, at that time against their will and without success. At the second attempt this year, he was able to get the Berlin company’s management board and supervisory board on board, but not all of the shareholders involved in Deutsche Wohnen. You offered too few shares, Vonovia was only able to secure around 47, 6 percent.
On the third attempt with one euro to 53 EUR per share increased offer, Buch already has 40 percent of the shares in Deutsche Wohnen, as Vonovia announced. Shareholder representative Tüngler expects that the 50 percentage mark will no longer be a problem. It is now clear that the passive funds, which hold about 20 percent of Deutsche Wohnen and have not yet been able to offer their shares, will also offer their shares. With that alone Vonovia can safely get over the 50 percent.