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Deutsche Annington Said Close to Buying German Landlord Vitus

Deutsche Annington Immobilien SE (ANN) is close to an agreement to buy Vitus Immobilien Sarl, a German residential landlord partly owned by Blackstone Group LP (BX), three people familiar with the matter said.

An announcement of exclusive talks between Deutsche Annington and Vitus’s owners may be made as early as tomorrow, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal is yet to be signed. The transaction may value Vitus at about 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion), they said.

Representatives of Deutsche Annington, Terra Firma and Blackstone and Vitus declined to comment on the discussions.

Demand for German homes is being fueled by record-low borrowing costs, a strengthening economy and declining unemployment. Insurers, pension funds and private-equity firms may buy about 10 billion euros of German residential buildings in 2013, according to data compiled by broker Jones Lang LaSalle. (JLL) Investors bought 11.1 billion euros of German homes last year, the most since 2007.

Vitus’s owners were considering selling stakes or adding new investors to profit from demand for German housing, Chief Executive Officer Ben Lehrecke said in August.

Deutsche Annington, Germany’s biggest residential landlord by market value, sold shares to the public for the first time in July. Last month, the Bochum-based company majority owned by Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd. said nine-month profit rose 41 percent after interest payments fell.

Vitus, founded in 1869, owns and manages homes in western German cities including Dusseldorf, Kiel and Bremen, according to its website. Blackstone bought the company in 2004 for 1.39 billion euros, and in 2007 sold a majority stake for 1.6 billion euros to funds managed by Round Hill Capital, Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) and Aviva Plc. (AV/)

To contact the reporters on this story: Kiel Porter in London at kporter17@bloomberg.net; Dalia Fahmy in Berlin at dfahmy1@bloomberg.net; Aaron Kirchfeld in London at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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