Vonovia buys Sweden's Hembla from Blackstone for €1.14b

Germany's largest residential company Vonovia has acquired a majority stake in Swedish residential company Hembla from Blackstone for SEK 12.225bn (€1.14 bn).

The deal comprises the acquisition of 69.30% of the voting rights and 61.19% of the share capital in Hembla. It marks Vonovia's second step into the Swedish market, following the acquisition of Victoria Park in 2018.

'We are long-term investors in residential housing and offer attractive and high-quality living,' said Vonovia’s CEO Rolf Buch.

'Our investment in Hembla is fully complementary to our present footprint. We have a track record of creating benefits for tenants and shareholders alike, and we achieve this through our long-term expertise, our comprehensive services, better procurement and better funding,' Buch added.

Vonovia will be obliged to launch a mandatory public offer to all other shareholders of Hembla, in accordance with Swedish takeover rules, within a period of four weeks from clearance of the transaction by the merger control authorities.

Hembla’s 21,411 flats are primarily based in Stockholm. Vonovia said the portfolio was 'highly complementary' to Victoria Park’s 16,638 flats that are mainly based in the areas of Malmö, Stockholm, and Gothenburg.

Beyond Germany
Vonovia currently owns 396,739 flats in Germany, Austria and Sweden and also manages 79,015 apartments. Its portfolio is worth a total of €47.4 bn. The company began to grow beyond Germany in 2017, with two acquisitions in Austria and the acquisition of Victoria Park in 2018.

Vonovia has agreed to buy 6,136,989 class A shares and 50,722,985 class B shares in Hembla. Hembla’s class B shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, Mid Cap.

The purchase price per share of SEK 215 (regardless of class) corresponds to a premium of 11.5% compared to the closing price for the class B shares on 20 September 2019, and a premium of 15.6% compared to the average share price in the last three months.

Closing of the transaction is subject to antitrust clearance by the Swedish merger control authorities. With completion of this condition, which is expected in October or November 2019, Vonovia is obliged to launch a mandatory public offer for the remaining shares in Hembla.

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