Germany’s Adler to offload €1.5b of property to LEG Immobilien

German real estate investor Adler Group has agreed to sell a residential portfolio worth €1.49 bn to rival LEG Immobilien in an effort to reduce its debt.

The move comes after the Frankfurt-listed company faced accusations from short seller Viceroy Research that it was overstating its property values. Adler has rejected the claims. Shares in the German landlord have fallen more than 40% in the last month.

In a statement on Monday, Adler said it expected net proceeds from the transaction, after repayment of debt, to be around €800 mln. The deal is slated to take place by end-2021.

Adler is selling 15,350 residential units and 185 commercial units to LEG at a premium to their respective book value as appraised by CBRE at end-June. ‘This is a clear reflection of the high quality profile of Adler’s portfolio as well as the highly competitive and liquid landscape of the German residential yielding market,’ the firm said. It is retaining a 10.1% stake in the disposed entities for tax reasons.

The company said the sale of properties in cities such as Wilhelmshaven, Göttingen and Wolfsburg would enable it to focus more on Germany’s top 7 cities for the remaining portfolio.

Adler said the deal would have no impact on its 2021 targets for Net Rental Income and FFO 1.

Commenting on the transaction, buyer LEG said it was ‘a consistent step in the expansion of its portfolio’, noting that the Adler portfolio was focused on its core product of affordable living.

The transaction would allow the company to further expand its market presence in North and Northwestern Germany, as about 90% of the Adler units are located in Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Bremen.

On Friday, fellow residential landlord Vonovia said it had bought an option to acquire a stake of around 13% in Adler.