Vonovia secures 58% of Swedish resi owner Victoria Park

German listed group Vonovia said this week that it has secured at least 58% of voting rights in the Swedish residential owner Victoria Park within the initial acceptance period of its SEK 38 a share takeover offer ended Monday.

The announcement means Vonovia will go forward with its bid, having exceeded the minimum 50% acceptance threshold set as condition for closing. In addition, the German landlord has also extended the acceptance period of the bid until 3 July 2018.

Vonovia launched a SEK 17.8 bn (equivalent to €1.7 bn) takeover offer for Victoria Park in early May.

'We have made an amicable offer to acquire Victoria Park because we want to invest in a company that puts tenants at the heart of its strategy - just like we do,' said Rolf Buch, CEO of Vonovia. 'Our business model is only sustainable if we can offer our customers high quality housing stock and improved living conditions. Together, we will be able to leverage synergies that benefit both tenants and shareholders.'

'We are very happy that a majority of our shareholders has accepted Vonovia's attractive offer,' said Per Ekelund, CEO of Victoria Park. 'With Vonovia's expertise in improving housing conditions at much better scale, we are looking forward to cooperating closely with our new majority owner - a perfect partnership with a long-term, sustainable strategy.'

Victoria Park owns 1 million m2 of residential space in Sweden comprising 13,700 flats valued at SEK 16.2 bn.

The other major shareholder in Victoria Park is Starwood, which in April launched a SEK 34 a share unsolicited takeover offer for Victoria Park. It currently holds a 24.4% shareholding and 32% of voting rights in Victoria Park after completing its tender offer in early June. Contrary to Vonovia's, Starwood's offer was not backed by Victoria Park's management. 

Starwood had said earlier that it did not intend to tender its shares to Vonovia. But given the success of Vonovia's offer and the extension of the acceptance period, it may reconsider its strategy with regards to its Swedish investment.

A joint shareholding by Vonovia and Victoria Park would result in a significantly reduced liquidity for the stock.


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