April 18, 2018 / 6:28 AM / 3 months ago

Starwood launches offer for CA Immo, Immofinanz shares

VIENNA, April 18 (Reuters) - U.S. property investment firm Starwood Capital Group launched its bid for minority stakes in Austrian property companies CA Immo and Immofinanz , as it seeks exposure to real estate markets in central and eastern Europe.

Starwood, a private equity firm that says it has $56 billion in assets under management, last month said it wanted to acquire up to 26 percent of CA Immo and up to 5 percent of Immofinanz, at only slight premiums to their share prices at the time, minus any dividends paid before completion of the deals.

Starwood is offering CA Immo shareholders 27.50 euros ($34.02) per share, minus any dividend paid. The stock closed on Tuesday at 27.50 euros. Immofinanz's shares closed at 2.19 euros, above the 2.10 euros per share, minus any dividend, Starwood is offering.

Immofinanz last month dismissed that offer as too low, while CA Immo said it needed more information to form an opinion.

The offer for CA Immo runs to May 16, while the offer for Immofinanz lasts until May 30, the offer documents published on Wednesday showed.

Together they are worth up to around 824 million euros ($1.02 billion), according to Reuters calculations. Both partial tender offers are independent and are not contingent on any minimum acceptance threshold.

Immofinanz already owns 26 percent of CA Immo. It said in February it was considering selling that stake after it effectively abandoned its plan to take over the company.

Starwood has said it supports both companies' management teams and does not plan to acquire a majority of either firm. Both will also remain listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, it has said.

"Starwood Capital considers Austria, Germany and (central and eastern Europe) as attractive markets and is committed to increasing its real estate exposure there," it said on Wednesday. ($1 = 0.8083 euros) (Reporting by Francois Murphy and Michael Shields, editing by Louise Heavens)

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