Deutsche Wohnen CFO Segal to Leave Amid Vonovia Offer Battle

Deutsche Wohnen AG, the German landlord fighting a hostile takeover bid by a bigger competitor, said Chief Financial Officer Andreas Segal is leaving effective Wednesday.

Segal, who joined last year when Deutsche Wohnen acquired Berlin’s biggest landlord GSW Immobilien, is departing by mutual agreement, according to a statement late Monday. Deutsche Wohnen said profit in the first nine months rose as rents increased.

Funds from operations excluding sales, which adjusts rental income for depreciation, amortization and one-time effects, rose 38 percent in the first nine months to 228.7 million euros ($245 million) from 166.3 million euros a year earlier, the Berlin-based company said.

Deutsche Wohnen, Germany’s second-biggest residential landlord, has vowed to fight a hostile 9.9 billion-euro bid by Vonovia SE that would create Europe’s second-largest property company. Segal helped Deutsche Wohnen obtain a credit rating and issue its first corporate bond during his time at the company.

“Segal brought the company forward very well in the past two years,” Uwe Flach, Deutsche Wohnen’s supervisory board chairman, said in the statement. “We wish him all the best.”

Chief Executive Officer Michael Zahn and Chief Investment Officer Lars Wittan will take on Segal’s responsibilities.

German residential landlords have bought apartments and listed competitors in record volumes in the past two years as they seek to take advantage of favorable financing conditions, rising rents and growing demand for affordable apartments in large German cities. Deutsche Wohnen, with 147,000 apartments across in Berlin and the Frankfurt area, is the biggest landlord in the German capital. Vonovia has 370,000 units across Germany.

In a separate statement on Tuesday, Deutsche Wohnen repeated that FFO in 2015 will be between 285 million euros and 290 million euros. FFO per share in the first nine months rose by 28 percent to 73 cents as the company issued shares to pay for acquisitions.

Deutsche Wohnen said it has 1 billion euros to make additional purchases without selling more shares, and that it’s examining homes for sale -- mostly in Berlin -- valued at about 2 billion euros.

Rental income in the first nine months was 393 million euros, compared with 386 million euros a year earlier, as the company reduced its vacancy rate to 2.1 percent and rents rose to a monthly 5.83 euros a square meter from 5.65 euros a year earlier.

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