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Germany's Largest Landlord Admits 'Rocky' IPO

Antonia Matthews and Katrina Bishop
Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 | 10:46 AM ET
Photographer | Collection | Getty Images

The CEO of Germany's largest residential landlord, Deutsche Annington, told CNBC the float process had been "rocky", following its stock market debut on Thursday.

Deutsche Annington, which owns, maintains and rents properties, successfully launched an IPO (initial public offering) on Thursday. However, an earlier attempt failed last week when majority owner Terra Firma pulled the plug due to insufficient demand.

Shares in Deutsche Annington, gained over 6 percent on their first day of trade in Frankfurt. Stock was sold for 16.50 euros ($21.53) and opened at 17.10 euros. However, shares remained below the original offer price of 18-21 euros, set by Terra Firma.

CEO Rolf Buch described the run-up to the IPO as a "rollercoaster ride," but said the listing now gave the group the opportunity to invest in its own portfolio.

"We have a big investment program of 800 million [euros] in the next five years, where we invest in two mega-trends," Buch told CNBC. These "mega-trends" are greater energy efficiency, to help tenants to reduce energy bills, and making apartments more suitable for the elderly, so that they can remain in their own properties.

German residential is "probably the most stable asset class you can get in Europe," Buch said, adding that Deutsche Annington's business model was very stable, with a very predictable cash flow.

He also said that the company paid a high dividend, slightly more than its peers in the German market, and forecast heavy rent increases in the some parts of the German residential real estate market.

Deutsche Annington Goes Public: CEO
Rolf Buch, CEO of Deutsche Annington, talks about the company's successful float, as well as its strategy and investment program going forward.

David Hutchins of commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield said the sector could be set for further growth.

"The European trends we see certainly do suggest that the upper end of the market — whether it's residential or whether it's high-end luxury retail, hotels et cetera — does have further to go, so I would say it's the same for Germany," Hutchins said.

The second quarter of 2013 proved a strong one for European IPOs, with 5.2 billion euros ($6.78 billion) raised — a 58 percent increase from the first quarter of 2013, according to a PwC report. Private equity-backed IPOs dominated the second quarter, accounting for almost 60 percent of proceeds.

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