GSW Immobilien AG

Berlin residential real estate company GSW Immobilien AG plans IPO in second quarter of 2010

Berlin (ots) -

   - A leading privately-owned residential real estate company in
     Berlin intends to list on the Regulated Market (Prime Standard
     segment) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the Berlin Stock
     Exchange 
   - Net primary proceeds to strengthen GSW's capital base,
     reduceoverall loan-to-value ratio, pay off interest bearing EK02
     tax liabilities and provide the Company with greater flexibility
     in financing its planned growth 
   - Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs International acting as Joint  
     Global Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners; Berenberg Bank,
     Commerzbank and HSBC Trinkaus mandated as Co-Lead Managers 

GSW Immobilien AG ("GSW"), a leading privately-owned residential real estate company in Berlin is preparing for an IPO. The Company plans to list its shares on the Regulated Market (Prime Standard segment) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the Berlin Stock Exchange in the second quarter of 2010. Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs International are acting as Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners. Berenberg Bank, Commerzbank and HSBC Trinkaus were mandated as Co-Lead Managers. GSW plans to use the net primary proceeds from the offering to further strengthen its capital base, reduce overall loan-to-value to below 60%, pay off interest bearing EK02 tax liabilities and provide the Company with greater flexibility in financing its planned growth.

With a portfolio of approximately 49,700 apartments and 3.1 million square meters of residential floor space, GSW believes it is the largest privately-owned residential real estate company in the German capital Berlin based on the number of apartments owned and managed. The strategy of the Company is to enhance long-term cash flow from portfolio and property management. GSW, founded in 1924, was acquired by a syndicate of the Whitehall Funds and affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. from the State of Berlin in 2004. In subsequent years, the business organization was systematically restructured and optimized. At the end of 2009, GSW's property portfolio was valued at approximately E2.6 billion.

GSW benefits from operating in an attractive German residential real estate market

With a clear focus on Berlin, GSW operates in one of Germany's largest residential real estate markets. The business model is constructed to capitalize on demographic trends and economic factors that GSW believes are more attractive in Berlin relative to other large German cities. For several years, the Berlin real estate market has experienced increasing population, declining vacancy rates, increasing rents and, compared with other German cities, a younger population.

Successful and efficient operating business model

Since the privatization in 2004, GSW has transformed its cost structure and increased its efficiency through restructuring and efficiency measures. Due to GSW's focus on a single major residential real estate market in Germany, the Company is able to manage its portfolio efficiently and to capture economies of scale. Furthermore, GSW is focused on increasing customer attention and satisfaction, which support the relatively high levels of rental growth.

Optimization of returns via active portfolio management

GSW employs an active portfolio management strategy to increase returns, including purchasing under-managed portfolios as well as selling selective apartments and assets. While the Company's business model focuses on the efficient management of residential assets, GSW intends to take advantage of its market presence and operating systems to grow its portfolio and increase returns. Since 2004, the Company has acquired several portfolios in which it has identified specific opportunities for active asset management. In certain cases, the Company will review attractive offers for the sale of real estate.

Track record of successfully generating rental growth

GSW's business model has proven resilient to economic downturns and recessions, as the Company has managed to continually increase its nominal rents since 1998 despite the volatility in German GDP growth. This relative independence to cyclical fluctuations is reinforced by GSW's tenant structure. A large proportion of the Company's tenants has indirect household incomes, such as pensioners, and is therefore relatively less exposed to cyclical influences. From 2006 to 2009, GSW increased residential rents on average by 3.2% per year on a like-for-like basis, while reducing the residential vacancy rate by an aggregate of 32%. Company management has instituted innovative, award-winning marketing programs to drive rental growth, including successful campaigns aimed at rent increases, vacancy reductions and re-letting with minimal unit turn costs.

In the financial year 2009 GSW generated a consolidated net rental income of E133.6 million (2008: E129.3 million). The Company's consolidated net operating profit (EBIT) amounted to E229.0 million in 2009 (2008: E185.7 million), and the consolidated net income increased from E107.7 million in 2008 to E172.1 million in 2009.

About GSW

GSW Immobilien AG is a leading privately-owned residential real estate company operating in Berlin, with an owned portfolio of approximately 49,700 apartments and 3.1 million square meters of residential floor space. In addition, a subsidiary of GSW manages approximately 17,000 residential units for third parties. GSW's strategy focuses on the long-term rental management of residential property via a systematic approach, which aims to increase customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. The Company was founded in 1924, and was acquired in 2004 from the State of Berlin by a syndicate of investors including affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. and the Whitehall Funds. GSW employed approximately 630 people on average in 2009. As of December 31, 2009, the Company's property portfolio was valued at approximately E2.6 billion.

Disclaimer

This press release does not contain or constitute an offer of, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or subscribe for, securities to any person in Australia, Canada, Japan, or the United States or in any jurisdiction to whom or in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful. The securities referred to herein may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") or another exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act. Subject to certain exceptions, the securities referred to herein may not be offered or sold in Australia, Canada or Japan or to, or for the account or benefit of, any national, resident or citizen of Australia, Canada or Japan. The offer and sale of the securities referred to herein has not been and will not be registered under the Securities Act or under the applicable securities laws of Australia, Canada or Japan. There will be no public offer of the securities in the United States.

This press release is directed at and/or for distribution in the United Kingdom only to (i) persons who have professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the "Order") or (ii) high net worth entities falling within article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order (all such persons are referred to herein as "relevant persons"). This press release is directed only at relevant persons. Any person who is not a relevant person should not act or rely on this press release or any of its contents. Any investment or investment activity to which this press release relates is available only for relevant persons and will be engaged in only with relevant persons.

This press release is an advertisement and not a prospectus. Investors should not purchase or subscribe for any shares referred to in this press release except on the basis of information in the prospectus to be issued by the Company in connection with the offering of such shares. Copies of the prospectus will, following approval by the German Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and publication, be available free of charge from GSW Immobilien AG, Charlottenstrasse 4, D-10969 Berlin, Germany, or on GSW Immobilien AG's website ( www.gsw.de ).

Media Relations:

GSW Immobilien AG
Thomas Rücker
Charlottenstrasse 4, 10969 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: +49-30-25 34 13 32
Fax: +49-30-25 34 19 34
E-mail: thomas.ruecker@gsw.de
Original-Content von: GSW Immobilien AG, übermittelt durch news aktuell

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