It was already evident on Monday that something was happening within the real estate company Adler Group. What exactly, that doesn’t seem to be entirely clear on Friday either. Only the reaction of investors is clear: by the afternoon, the stock listed on S-Dax had lost almost a quarter of its value – and that in just one week.
Meanwhile, it looked like a clear recovery: on Friday morning it became known that the Dax Vonovia group of Adler’s largest shareholder, the investment firm Aggregate of Austrian investor Günther Walcher, the option of a total of 13.3% in the much smaller rival has secured. For 18 months and at the price of 14 euros. Adler’s papers then went up by more than twelve percent – but later they fell dramatically into the red again.
In return for the option of the Adler package, Vonovia grants Aggregate a loan “in the order of the three-digit million and on usual terms,” said a spokesperson for the company. You pursue two objectives at the same time: on the one hand, the apartments could be strategically interesting, on the other hand, it is also a question of reassuring the market and the investors of the real estate sector.
Adler claims a real estate portfolio worth 12.6 billion euros, including around 70,000 apartments in northern Germany and Berlin. As is customary with real estate companies, these are largely financed by debt. Earlier this week, Adler surprisingly announced that he was considering selling a large chunk of the apartments in order to reduce debt and buy back shares. This initially gave the price a boost.
Two days later, however, on Wednesday short seller Fraser Perring released a report on the company. In it, he accuses Adler, among others, of having inflated the balance sheet. In addition, management withdraws money from acquired companies. As a result of the report, the share even collapsed by a third in the meantime. Perring is well known on the scene: among other things, he attacked payment service provider Wirecard in 2016 and leasing company Grenke in 2020 – in some cases successfully. However, Perring professionally bets on lower prices and also works with aggressive studies, the claims of which cannot always be upheld. This is why some consider him to be a market manipulator.
Adler denies the allegations. The value of the portfolio as well as of the acquisitions is proven by external auditors. The company now wants to hire independent consultants and auditors to examine the allegations.