Deutsche Wohnen Says 79% of GSW Investors Accepted Takeover Bid

Deutsche Wohnen AG’s offer to buy residential landlord GSW Immobilien AG in the biggest German real estate acquisition in five years was accepted by 78.6 percent of GSW shareholders.

Investors who haven’t yet participated in the share swap, which values GSW at about 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion), have until Nov. 18 to take part, Deutsche Wohnen said in a statement today.

Deutsche Wohnen said on Thursday the number of GSW shareholders participating in the swap had surpassed the 75 percent needed to proceed with the deal. The transaction is valued at 3.5 billion euros including debt, making it the biggest since at least 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Both GSW and Deutsche Wohnen are focused on Berlin, where home-price and rent gains have outpaced the rest of the country. The merger will create a company with about 150,000 apartments valued at 8.5 billion euros. It will be Germany’s second-biggest landlord after Deutsche Annington Immobilien SE.

Deutsche Wohnen made its offer on Aug. 20, about two months after GSW’s chief executive officer Bernd Kottmann and its chairman resigned following investor complaints about the way Kottmann was hired. Deutsche Wohnen CEO Michael Zahn said at the time that he took advantage of the power vacuum to make a bid for a competitor he has considered buying since before GSW’s initial public offering in 2011.

GSW management on Oct. 14 recommended that shareholders accept the bid and said its co-CEOs Joerg Schwagenscheidt and Andreas Segal will become chief operating officer and chief financial officer, respectively, of the combined company.

Deutsche Annington is Germany’s biggest residential landlord, with 180,000 apartments and a market value of 4.3 billion euros.

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