Shareholders of Deutsche Wohnen AG, Germany’s third-largest property company, approved a plan to issue shares to finance the planned 1.75 billion-euro ($2.4 billion) acquisition of GSW Immobilien AG.
At a meeting in Frankfurt today, 99.5 percent of the Deutsche Wohnen investors present voted in favor of creating shares to be offered in exchange for GSW stock, the company said in a statement today.
“It is now the turn of GSW’s shareholders,” Deutsche Wohnen Chief Executive Officer Michael Zahn said in the release.
Deutsche Wohnen on Aug. 20 announced a plan to buy its competitor in an all-share transaction that would create Germany’s largest property company by market value. Both companies are based in Berlin, where price and rent increases have outpaced the rest of the country.
The vote allows Deutsche Wohnen to invite GSW shareholders to exchange their shares, a process what will probably begin this week and last one month, Deutsche Wohnen spokeswoman Manuela Damianakis said on Friday. The takeover can take place if 75 percent of GSW shareholders participate in the exchange, she said.
Deutsche Wohnen will offer 51 new shares for every 20 GSW shares, according to the Aug. 20 statement.
Deutsche Wohnen owns about 90,000 apartments in large German cities including Berlin and Frankfurt, and GSW owns 60,000 homes in the capital. The combined company would own apartments valued at 8.5 billion euros.
Deutsche Annington Immobilien SE is Germany’s biggest residential landlord by number of homes, with 180,000 apartments.
GSW said in a statement on Aug. 26 that “a combination of GSW and Deutsche Wohnen could make sense from an operational and industry point of view.”