Business

Börse – Real Estate Monopoly in Austria

A lot is happening in the Austrian real estate industry. Large listed “players” such as Immofinanz, S-Immo and CA-Immo, who are prominently represented with their respective portfolios not only in Austria, but also in Germany and Eastern Europe, are affected.

For example, at Immofinanz and S-Immo, which already hold stakes in each other, merger fantasy is back in the game after plans for a merger have been shattered several times in the past. At the weekend, Immofinanz, which currently holds 26.5 percent, announced a takeover offer to S-Immo shareholders.

However, market observers assume that the Viennese real estate giant will still have to move at the offered price. Especially since this is EUR 18.04 per share (including dividend) and thus only corresponds to the last stock exchange price before the announcement of the offer.

Analysts: There’s more to come

While the price of the S-Immo-Papers had already jumped sharply on Monday and thus moved quite significantly away from the offer price, the Vienna Stock Exchange continued in this key on Tuesday – towards 20 euros.

The day before, Verena Brauner from the Interest Association for Investors (IVA) had said: “The offer looks weak and will only meet with poor acceptance, as the currently far higher stock market price shows.” With the already mentioned 18.04 euros per share, it is almost 14 percent above the six-month average price, but according to Brauner it is “well below” the last reported net asset value of 23.17 euros per share for S-Immo.

Analysts heard on Tuesday that the last word is unlikely to have been said on the takeover offer. You expect a repair. At Immofinanz itself, a spokeswoman said: “Investors should wait for the final offer document to get a comprehensive picture and make a decision.”

Should the marriage between Immofinanz and S-Immo come about, a group would emerge that at current prices would have a market value of 3.6 billion euros and real estate assets of over 7.6 billion euros. All in all, it would have 3.3 million square meters of lettable space in the office, retail, residential and hotel sectors.

Media reports on Tuesday caused irritation that there was a house search of Immofinanz boss Ronny Pecik, who is involved in both companies, in autumn 2020 on suspicion of insider trading. According to “Presse” it should be about business related to Immofinanz and S-Immo.

In a press statement, Pecik spoke of a mix-up with his son of the same name, which “possibly led to confusion, which resulted in official acts of the financial market regulator.” He had behaved cooperatively and explained to the authorities that he “always acted in accordance with the applicable capital market regulations”.

CA Immo in the US

Meanwhile, major shareholder Starwood Capital, a US investment company, wants to expand its almost 30 percent stake in CA Immo, where Immofinanz also had merger plans years ago but was ultimately canceled. An official takeover offer is already underway here (until April 9th), offering 36 euros per share. It remains to be seen whether the Americans will get far with this. The stock exchange price is also quoted at CA Immo above the offer, but currently only around 2 percent.

However, it has recently become quiet about a counteroffer from Aggregate Holdings, a company owned by the Austrian investor Günther Walcher, which was rumored in the media. To date, this alleged offer has not even been announced.

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