AUSTRIA – Austrian real estate company Immofinanz is aiming to expand its residential portfolio, largely by increased investment in German property, with the eventual outcome being either a sale or listing of the portfolio.
A spokesman for Immofinanz confirmed to IP Real Estate the company wanted to grow the business by purchasing a portfolio in Germany and additionally via its own construction projects in the neighbouring country.

Immofinanz is one of several companies to declare an interest in the Bavarian GBW portfolio.

The open bidding process on the 32,000 residential units also attracted interest from Patrizia.

The spokesman added that, after the portfolio had grown, it would remain to be seen whether Immofinanz would list the Buwog section of its business or sell it.

"We will keep all our options open as long as possible," the spokesman confirmed.

Immofinanz bought Buwog, the Austrian federal residential real estate company, in 2004.

The sale has been the subject of some controversy, with the state prosecutor alleging that the country's then-federal finance minister, Karl-Heinz Grasser, influenced the proceedings that led to Buwog's privatisation.

The company said its options could include the "optimisation" of a portfolio – or a split, with parts being sold off.

The 32,335 units in the portfolio – situated in Germany and Austria – are worth around €2.3bn, with a further €930m in properties part of the company's development pipeline.

For the first half of its financial year from May, the company reported a net profit of €103.3m.

The results are down 61% from the same period last year, while operating profits (EBIT) fell to €324.7m, down 47.6%.
Income from property development contributed €4.3m to its profit margin, and Immofinanz noted this was mainly down to sales of condominiums in the Buwog portfolio.