Real estate group Vonovia is warning shareholders of its Deutsche Wohnen takeover target of a long period of drought over dividends. “It is also important for small shareholders to know that Vonovia, as the majority shareholder of Deutsche Wohnen, will work so that Deutsche Wohnen no longer pays dividends,” said Vonovia boss Rolf Buch.
The Bochum-based company presented its new voluntary takeover offer to shareholders of the Berlin group on Monday morning, with whom they want to cross the threshold of 50% of the shares. Vonovia had recently failed on this obstacle: the group was only able to collect 47.6% instead of the required 50% of Deutsche Wohnen shares. Buch has now made improvements and now offers 53 euros more per share in Deutsche Wohnen. Vonovia is now offering a total of around 19 billion euros to Deutsche Wohnen, which is mainly active in Berlin. The offer period is expected to end on September 20, 2021 at midnight, he said on Monday. Deutsche Wohnen boss Michael Zahn and his fellow board members backed the new offer.
Vonovia boss Buch was optimistic about the success of the new attempt. “I am convinced that it can work now,” he said. Vonovia has learned from the failure of the previous Deutsche Wohnen shareholder takeover bid and is now responding better. Vonovia called on more banks to do this. Morgan Stanley, Perella Weinberg, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and ParkView Partners supported the Bochum company. Vonovia has also formed joint teams with Deutsche Wohnen for this purpose. “We have learned that a deal that is actually taken for granted can always fail,” admitted Buch. “This is why we are trying to reach as many investors as possible.” However, Deutsche Wohnen shareholders also need to be clear that there will be no enhanced offer and that if the current start fails, there will be no mandatory offer. “It’s that offer or none,” Buch said. Many hedge funds speculated for more money on their last attempt and withheld their shares. Buch does not want to give way to such hopes.
The two real estate companies listed in the flagship Dax index have a total of 550,000 apartments valued at over 80 billion euros, mostly in Germany. “Together, the two companies can better make the necessary investments in climate protection, life according to needs and affordable housing,” they announced for the merger. Vonovia shares lost around 2% on Monday, Deutsche Wohnen shares around 0.5%