• Germany edition
 
Investment firm 'buys 22,000 German flats'
Photo: DPA

Investment firm 'buys 22,000 German flats'

Published: 10 Apr 2012 15:54 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Apr 2012 15:54 GMT+02:00

Cerberus, together with the real estate management company, Corpus Sireo, is reportedly paying as much as €900 million to get the 22,000 flats from Speymill, a bankrupt UK firm, the newspaper said. Germany's federal cartel office has already approved the deal.

The huge deal is a sign of the German real estate market's renewed attractiveness for foreign investors, following several years in which real estate money went elsewhere, the FTD said.

Whitehall Blackstone, a Goldman-Sachs fund and Morgan Stanley were also reportedly interested in Speymill's property portfolio.

Cerberus is the Greek mythology name of the dog who watched over the entrance to hell, noted Der Spiegel, and suggested it was a deliberate choice as the firm has a reputation for being particularly aggressive.

In 2004 Cerberus, together with a Goldman Sachs subsidiary, bought GSW, a housing management owned by the state of Berlin that had more than 60,000 flats in its portfolio. Last year the investors went public with part of the company and sold the rest, removing them from the public housing market.

Germany's property market became less attractive to investors after credit dried up in 2007, but it is now much easier to get financing – either to buy apartments after they are renovated or as a package, as Cerberus has done.

The Speymill holdings were considered a tough sell because the flats are spread out all over Germany, Kai Klose, a real estate analyst with the Berenberg Bank told the FTD. He calculated, based on market rates, that Cerberus would pay as much as €900 million for the deal.

The federal government also plans to capitalize on the improved market conditions, the FTD said, with Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble planning a second attempt at selling the government-owned TLG company. It succeeded the Treuhand company that administered state-owned property from the former East Germany.

Schäuble tried to unload a package of offices, industrial areas and flats in Berlin and eastern Germany in 2008 but couldn't find a buyer. The minister now sees a better chance for a sale, since prices are on the rise, the paper wrote.

TLG's offerings, which include 11,500 flats, are valued at around €1.7 billion. Schäuble wants to insert language in the sales documents that would prevent luxury renovations of the flats, but that's not enough for Left party parliamentary leader Gregor Gysi, who is worried that a sale would make tenants "purely investment objects."

Those interested need to hurry up. Potential buyers have until this coming Monday to make their interest known, the FTD said.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:57 April 10, 2012 by catjones
To prevent tenants as being seen as 'investment objects', Cerberus' management will visit each of the 22,000 tenants personally and bring offerings of beer and bretzels as part of their Welcome Wagon approach to real estate investment management. "We want to get to know our objects on a personal level, sit with them, go through old scrapbooks together. We then invite the tenants to our corporate headquarters so they can touch our workstations. We don't want to frighten them, poor dears.'
19:26 April 10, 2012 by murka
I can well turn out to be an idiotic move, given the shrinking population. Goldman Sachs owned a building site here in the city, let it crumble unfinished for 10 years, and finally sold for a penny back to the city. A great management of investors' money, isn't it?
08:57 April 11, 2012 by siba
@ murka: that does not apply to berlin. berlin has a big influx of (mostly western so not poor) immigrants and grows year by year - and buying or renting appartments becomes increasingly unaffordable... though the housing market is still good compared to london or paris.
21:34 April 11, 2012 by Sayer
I smell a rat!
08:49 April 13, 2012 by stephang
It's true that Berlin is now seeing population growth, unlike Germany as a whole. Rents are still low but have started rising substantially over the last years, and so have house prices. Low interest rates represent a major impetus for the local housing market. For more see http://www.berlinhousingboom.com/
20:33 April 15, 2012 by Englishted
Have I missed something?

I believed the world downturn was due to American investment companies attempting to make a killing by "investing " in real estate,all be it in the U.S.A. last time.

Take your carpetbags and get out of town.
16:56 April 27, 2012 by jabulani
German property market has been very stable up to now. Yes ...prices are going up but one has to be careful of the devaluation of the Euro. already the Euro lost about 15 % to the British pound. I believe that well positioned properties will attain good capital appreciation...keep in mind that ONLY THE PRIME POSITION ones win and never loose value. What about all the rest? If you cannot buy the best....dont buy.

If you buy for rental income as long as you live in an Euro zone country will be ok., if you live in uk....mmmm take care.
Today's headlines
Pickpocket fools minister at anti-crime event
Ralf Jäger in front of a sign reading "eyes open and pockets closed" at the pickpocketing awareness event. Photo: DPA

Pickpocket fools minister at anti-crime event

North Rhine-Westphalia's interior minister Ralf Jäger was pickpocketed by a magician at a press conference he called on Monday to launch a campaign against pickpocketing. READ  

Berlin heart centre fiddled transplant list
Photo: DPA

Berlin heart centre fiddled transplant list

A probe into German transplant centres sparked by an organ donor scandal has revealed 14 cases of a doctor fiddling medical records at one of Germany’s leading heart centres. READ  

Lufthansa strike hits 20,000 passengers
A stranded group of travellers from Vancouver, Canada, sit and wait at Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa strike hits 20,000 passengers

UPDATE: The fourth pilots’ strike in recent weeks hit Germany’s biggest airport on Tuesday morning, with long-haul Lufthansa flights grounded at Frankfurt. Around 20,000 passengers have been affected. READ  

View from Germany
'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'
Photo: DPA/Police

'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'

A photo appearing to show a refugee being abused at a home for asylum seekers has caused outrage in Germany. The photo has been compared to those from Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. Police are now investigating six cases of abuse at three different centres. READ  

Police suspect neo-Nazis of Reichstag attack
An investigator gives a sniffer dog the scent of an object found at the scene. Photo: DPA

Police suspect neo-Nazis of Reichstag attack

Investigators believe a Molotov cocktail thrown at the Reichstag building in Berlin early on Monday morning was the work of a far-right group, a police spokeswoman said on Tuesday. READ  

Unemployment rate stagnates in September
Photo: DPA

Unemployment rate stagnates in September

Unemployment in Germany stagnated in September, as clouds continue to build over Europe's biggest economy, official data showed on Tuesday. READ  

Germany struggles with Turkey Nato mission
A Bundeswehr Patriot missile in southern Turkey. Photo: DPA

Germany struggles with Turkey Nato mission

A shortage of trained troops caused more embarrassment for Germany's military on Tuesday when it emerged that more than one in four soldiers taking part in a Nato mission in Turkey are not getting their allotted time off between deployments. READ  

Spielberg to shoot spy thriller in Berlin
Spielberg (l), Amy Ryan (c) and Tom Hanks (r). Photo: DPA

Spielberg to shoot spy thriller in Berlin

Director Steven Spielberg is to shoot his next film in Germany, the Berlin-Brandenburg Film Board announced on Monday. The Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan director is turning his attention to a Cold War spy thriller. READ  

EU may drop Russian gas, Merkel warns
Chancellor Merkel with Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb in Berlin on Monday. Photo: DPA

EU may drop Russian gas, Merkel warns

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Germany and Europe may have to review their energy cooperation with Russia in the long-term if the Ukraine standoff does not abate. READ  

3,000 refugees arrive at Munich station
Munich's Hauptbahnhof. Photo: DPA

3,000 refugees arrive at Munich station

More than 3,000 refugees, including hundreds of children, have arrived at Munich’s central train station over the past few weeks, according to police. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Munich
Brit raped at Oktoberfest while going to toilet
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germans look to UK to liven up Parliament
Photo: DPA
Society
'Incest should be legal,' says ethics board
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
How to become an au pair in Germany
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,154
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd