Covivio, in good shape last year, makes a big bet on German offices

Paris ( / hooly News) – The French real estate group Covivio intends to buy more than a billion euros of offices in Germany, he announced Thursday, on the occasion of results marked by an increase in its annual profit.

“Offices in Germany are the largest office market in Europe,” Christophe Kullmann, group chief executive, told hooly News. “We considered (…) that it was time to accelerate.”

To do this, Covivio, former Foncière des Régions, will launch an offer at the end of March on a German specialist, Godewind, who holds offices for 1.2 billion euros in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Munich.

Covivio has already secured the acquisition of more than a third of the capital of the German group from its “main shareholders”. He plans to close his offer in late May and wants to withdraw Godewind from the stock market.

Covivio is familiar with offices, its historical specialty, of which it has a large portfolio in France and Italy. It is also already well established in Germany, where it specializes in accommodation and hotels.

But until now he had only a small presence in German offices, mainly in Berlin.

It will therefore bet heavily, even as Germany is seeing its economic growth significantly slow down after a prosperous decade.

“We have no worries about German economic development,” relativized Mr. Kullmann. “We are investing for the long term. We are not at all in the idea of ​​doing this operation and going out tomorrow morning.”

Similarly, the leader nuanced the effects of the rent freeze put in place by the municipality in Berlin, where the group owns most of its German housing.

“There will be a slightly negative impact on our 2020 and 2021 results but, in the long term, this law will accentuate the housing shortage and therefore [augmenter] their valorization “, he assured.

For the time being, Covivio has recorded a clear increase in its revenues (+ 10.2% to 479 million euros) and in its recurring net profit (+ 19% to 452 million), a benchmark indicator for real estate, the year last, even if they are partly inflated by multiple acquisitions.

More representative of actual performance, adjusted earnings per share also increased (+ 4.4% to 5.31 euros) and the group expects a further increase this year, to exceed 5.40 euros.

hooly News / ck