BayernLB Said to Choose Bidders for $3.2 Billion Homes Sale

Bayerische Landesbank chose at least four companies to make second-round bids for 32,000 homes valued at 2.4 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in what would be Germany’s largest property sale in five years, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

The bidders include Patrizia Immobilien AG, Conwert Immobilien Invest SE, Immofinanz AG and Wohnen in Bayern, a group of municipalities, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. They were given access to financial data of the BayernLB unit that owns the homes this month, said two of the people. The company plans to complete the sale by the end of April, they said.

Spokesmen for Munich-based BayernLB, Patrizia, Conwert, Immofinanz declined to comment. Wohnen in Bayern didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

The European Union required BayernLB to sell its 92 percent stake in the GBW unit by the end of 2013 after it took state aid during the credit crunch in 2008. German home values have gained in the past few years as investors seek safe places to put their money amid Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis.

Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany’s biggest state-owned lender, last year agreed to sell its LBBW Immobilien real estate unit to a group led by Patrizia for 1.4 billion euros following an EU ruling. BayernLB, the second-biggest state-owned lender, agreed to sell its DKB Immobilien AG property unit last year to TAG Immobilien AG for 160 million euros.

Asset Value

GBW estimated the value of its homes in its 2011 annual report. The company has about 1.4 billion euros in debt, making its net asset value about 950 million euros, according to the report.

The sale would be the biggest residential property deal in Germany since Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bought LEG NRW, which owns 91,000 homes in North Rhine Westphalia, for about 3.5 billion euros including debt in 2008, according to data compiled by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Patrizia and Conwert are bidding on behalf of investor groups comprised mostly of European pension funds and insurers, said two of the people.

Patrizia, based in Augsburg, Germany, has about 6.8 billion euros of commercial and residential property assets under management, according to its third-quarter report.

Conwert, based in Vienna, is changing to become an asset manager focused on residential properties in Germany and Austria. It closed its purchase of a 60 percent stake in Germany’s KWG Kommunale Wohnen AG this week.

Immofinanz, also based in Vienna, is considering the sale of its Buwog residential arm to concentrate on commercial real estate in Austria and eastern Europe. To company is considering adding German assets to boost its appeal to investors, Chief Executive Officer Eduard Zehetner said last year. Buwog owns 2.4 billion euros worth of Austrian homes, about a quarter of Immofinanz’s total assets.

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