GSW Recommends Shareholders Accept Deutsche Wohnen’s Offer

GSW Immobilien AG recommended that shareholders accept a 1.75 billion-euro ($2.4 billion) takeover bid by competitor Deutsche Wohnen AG. The deal would create Germany’s second-largest owner of apartments.

A combination with Deutsche Wohnen makes sense because it forms the basis for a fair and socially acceptable integration that would have a goal of keeping as many jobs as possible, GSW said in a statement after the market closed today.

“We consider the business combination as a convincing opportunity to pool the strengths of the two companies and to develop them with the aim to create additional value,” GSW co-Chief Executive Officers Joerg Schwagenscheidt and Andreas Segal said in the statement.

GSW shareholders must decide whether to accept an offer of 2.55 Deutsche Wohnen shares for each GSW stock by midnight on Oct. 30. Both companies are based in Berlin, where price and rent increases have outpaced the rest of the country.

Deutsche Wohnen needs acceptances from investors owning at least 75 percent of GSW shares to proceed with the deal. The combined company would own about 150,000 apartments valued at 8.5 billion euros, Deutsche Wohnen said in August. Deutsche Wohnen CEO Michael Zahn would head the combined company.

Deutsche Annington Immobilien SE is Germany’s biggest residential landlord, with 180,000 apartments and a market value of 4.4 billion euros.

From the 2014 financial year onward, Deutsche Wohnen’s dividend will be increased to about 60 percent of funds from operations, a measure of a property company’s ability to generate cash.

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