conwert Immobilien Invest AG (Vienna StockExchange: CWI, Reuters: CONW.VI, Bloomberg: CWI AV) and ALT & KELBER Immobiliengruppe have formed a partnership for growth in the German residential market. In a joint venture, in which conwert owns a majority interest of 75% plus 1 share, the two companies plan to jointly acquire and manage residential property portfolios.
conwert, the leading residential property enterprise on the Viennese stock market, has found a first-rate partner for further growth in Germany. Johann Kowar, CEO at conwert, comments: "ALT & KELBER possesses 20 years experience in the field, is represented in branches all over Germany, and is a leader in the market for residential property privatisation. As an investor in this joint venture, we will profit from the strong market position and know-how of our partner, thus securing excellent access to the market for further acquisition, and moreover take advantage of the entire range of services of ALT & KELBER Immobiliengruppe at all locations."
At a time when numerous international investors are showing interest in the German property market, Johann Kowar sees this as a "decisive competitive advantage in our favour especially since we can benefit from the competence of ALT & KELBER in the field of property acquisitions. We can thus pool our respective strengths: the international investment power of conwert and the German expertise of ALT & KELBER."
According to Chief Executive Jürgen F. Kelber, ALT & KELBER Immobiliengruppe will benefit from this cooperation in that "a leading residential property investor such as conwert and a leading service provider such as ALT & KELBER are combining their competence." Says Jürgen Kelber: "conwert has an excellent reputation as an investor, as interested as we are in a long-term rise in the value of properties managed. We have examined our partner very carefully and have come to the conclusion that we can open up new areas of development in the field of residential property investments."
With property assets totaling €1.67 billion (as per 31/12/2006), conwert is the leading property enterprise on the Viennese stock market as well as the leader in the development of older residential properties in Vienna. Based in its home market in Austria, conwert is now also located in Germany, the Czech Republic and Hungary. By 31 December 2006, the company owned over 531 properties in Germany worth a total of EUR 451 million in Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig and Hamburg.
ALT & KELBER is one of the leaders in the German market, offering services in the fields of residential privatisation, consulting, asset management and maintenance, having sold over 38,000 freehold flats to date and applied due diligence measures to appraise over 700,000 flats. Moreover, the company has acted as a consultant in all major residential portfolio transactions in Germany.
Expansion in Germany continued
Property acquisitions worth approx. €100 million are already planned for the first year of the joint venture, and volume will be increased considerably in the following years. The partners conwert and ALT & KELBER will be especially active in the larger German cities.
Moreover, conwert plans to continue its course of expansion at all company locations. conwert manager Johann Kowar anticipates that conwert, "depending on further market developments, will realise an investment volume of about €800-1,000 million in the next 12-18 months." Based on investments planned in the near future, about half of this volume will be realized in Germany, both through the acquisition of larger portfolios and selected individual investments. The expansion of the property portfolio in Austria will account for about a third of total investment, with investment in the existing markets of CEE countries completing the conwert investment program. The foreign share of property assets will thus rise from the current 31% to about 50%, further continuing the process of internationalisation begun by the company in 2005.