Berlin – In the acquisition struggle for Deutsche Woenen, a British hedge fund is trying to put obstacles in the way of the largest German real estate group Vonovia. The Davidson Kempner Fund has applied to the Berlin Regional Court for an injunction. This should prevent Deutsche Wonen from issuing new shares and selling its shares to Vonovia, Davidson Kempner announced Thursday. According to his own statements, Davidson Kempner owns 3.2 percent of the share capital of Deutsche Wohnen and is also involved in Vonovia.
The fund accuses the two housing groups of defrauding shareholders. The statement said Deutsche Wonen’s board of directors took a number of legally questionable actions, “the sole purpose of which is to assist Fonovia in controlling Deutsche Woenen.” This significantly affects the right of shareholders to decide on the success of Vonovia’s takeover offer.
Deutsche Wonen: “The allegations are completely immaterial”
Deutsche Wonen dismissed the allegations as “completely immaterial”. Since 48.5 percent of Deutsche Wonen’s shareholders had already offered their shares in Fonovia last Friday, the actions attacked by Davidson Kempner “will likely not become relevant anyway,” the Berlin housing company said. A spokeswoman for the Berlin Regional Court confirmed receipt of the request. The responsible chamber is expected to make a decision on how to proceed next week. Vonovia did not wish to comment.
Vonovia on the third attempt tries to take over the second man among the owners. Bochum failed twice because it was not offered enough shares in Deutsche Wohnen. In order to achieve success this time, Vonovia President Rolf Buch dropped terms in the takeover offer, including a minimum acceptance of 50 percent of the shares. Issuing new shares in Deutsche Woenen is one way that Fonovia can secure a majority in Deutsche Woenen.