The acceptance period has expired: Vonovia has to tremble about mega fusion

The acceptance period has expired
Vonovia has to tremble about mega fusion

For the takeover of Deutsche Wohnen, the Vonovia real estate group needs at least 50 percent of its competitor’s shares. The acceptance period has now ended and many papers are still missing. But the company appeased.

Germany’s largest housing group Vonovia has to worry about the billion-dollar takeover of rival Deutsche Wohnen for even longer. When the acceptance period expired on Thursday night, the Bochum-based group was not yet able to report completion, because not enough Deutsche Wohnen shareholders have offered it their papers so far. “It’s getting tight. The 50 percent has not yet been reached,” said a person familiar with the process. However, it can take three or four working days for the last stocks to arrive – for example from more distant regions. Another insider said a final result may not be known until Monday.

Most institutional investors do not submit their papers until the last minute. Vonovia must achieve at least 50 percent for the takeover to take place. The problem: Index funds (ETFs) are only allowed to sell their shares when it is certain that the merger is perfect. The Deutsche Wohnen share was on Thursday, 51.50 euros, below the offer value of 52 euros.

A Vonovia spokeswoman said: “We will get more quotas. It may be that the final result will not be known until Monday morning.” Vonovia had secured almost 34 percent of Deutsche Wohnen by Tuesday evening. The spokeswoman said that more shares were currently being counted. The fact that the result has not yet been determined even after the deadline has expired is “due to the process”.

The two real estate companies agreed on a merger at the end of May after two previously failed takeover attempts. The cartel office gave the green light in June. The last takeover attempt in 2016 failed because of the 50 percent quota. At that time Vonovia was only offered around 30 percent of Deutsche Wohnen shares. According to the Cartel Office, Vonovia’s portfolio comprised a total of around 354,000 own residential units in Germany at the end of March; Deutsche Wohnen owns around 155,000 rental apartments, around 70 percent of them in Berlin.