BERLIN – German residential rental companies Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen are selling almost 15,000 apartments to Berlin for 2.46 billion euros ($2.90 billion), the city state’s finance senator Matthias Kollatz said on Friday.
The acquisition comes nine days before elections in the German capital, where housing shortages and rapidly rising prices have become a hot issue. An advisory referendum on expropriating the two housing companies is due to be held in parallel with the city election.
Vonovia, the largest German residential rental company is in the process of acquiring its smaller competitor, creating a housing behemoth with some 550,000 apartments worth more than 80 billion euros.
($1 = 0.8488 euros)