Starwood takes 24% stake in Swedish resi owner Victoria Park

US private equity group Starwood announced on Tuesday that it has built up a 24% stake in Swedish residential landlord Victoria Park following the completion of its SEK 34 (€3.3) a share cash offer launched in April.

Starwood, through its Global Opportunity Fund XI, has tendered a total of 27 million Class A shares and 32.5 million Class B shares, corresponding to 24.4% of all shares and 32.1% of all votes in Victoria Park.

Victoria Park owns 1 million m2 of residential space in Sweden comprising 13,700 flats.

Completion of the operation means that Starwood has waived the condition set in April that the offer would go ahead only in case over 35% of the shares were tendered.

In early May, Victoria Park also received a €900 mln offer from German listed residential landlord Vonovia, which runs until 19 June.

Vonovia, which has recently entered both Austria and France, is offering SEK 38.00 for every Class A and Class B Victoria Park share, valuing Victoria Park at SEK 17.8 bn (equivalent to €1.7 bn).

The offer represents a 12% premium to Starwood's earlier SEK 34.00 bid, or a total investment of €810 mln. It is conditional upon tendering at least 50% of the shares.

Shareholders holding around 32% of Victoria Park's shares and including a large part of the company's management board have already committed to tender their shares or issued binding call options to Vonovia’s acquisition company.

The bid is fully financed by a bridge-loan facility provided by JP Morgan and Vonovia will seek to raise about €1 bn in the equity markets to help pay for the deal, the German company said.

The move is part of Vonovia's plans to grow abroad and particularly in France, Sweden and the Netherlands, which it has identified as the most attractive markets in Europe.

Three months ago Vonovia succeeded in purchasing Austria’s Buwog for about €3.3 bn. In October last year it signed an agreement with a unit of France’s Caisse des Depots to look at opportunities in the French market.


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