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Immofinanz to List Buwog Unit in Frankfurt After IPO

Immofinanz AG plans to list its residential unit in Frankfurt after an initial public offering that could take place as soon as November, according to Daniel Riedl, a board member at the Austrian property developer.

The company would list Buwog as it seeks to add homes in northern Germany to the unit’s holdings, board member Daniel Riedl told journalists yesterday after the market closed. He declined to say which groups of homes Immofinanz is targeting.

“There have been successful initial public offerings lately, like LEG,” Riedl said at a roadshow presentation aimed at retail investors. “We’d like to be part of that.”

Immofinanz is trying to become a purely commercial real estate company to increase rental yield. It plans to sell low-yielding Austrian homes and use the proceeds to buy about 10,000 German apartments to add to Buwog before selling more than half of the unit in the IPO. The company hopes to raise 700 million euros ($910 million) to 750 million euros by selling the Buwog stake, Chief Executive Officer Eduard Zehetner said.

“This would be a first step where we would give up our majority stake,” which is necessary because investors don’t like controlling shareholders, he said. “Afterwards, although we’re not under time pressure, we’re thinking of a complete exit.”

Apartment Deal

Immofinanz, based in Vienna, said yesterday it had sold 781 apartments in the Austrian province of Carinthia. The deal was valued at about 40 million euros, Riedl said.

Immofinanz is trying to buy real estate in the Berlin area, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony, Riedl said. The company is seeking to complete the first transaction within weeks, he said.

The developer is also seeking to list its shares in Warsaw to make it more visible and liquid, Chief Financial Officer Birgit Noggler said at the event. That could happen as early as this month, she added.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Whitehall Street Real Estate affiliate in January raised about 1.3 billion euros in an IPO of LEG Immobilien AG, creating Germany’s largest landlord by market value.

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