Real estate firm Vonovia buys majority stake in Sweden's Hembla for $1.26 billion

FILE PHOTO: The new headquarters of German real estate company Vonovia SE, a member of the German DAX-30 stock market index, is pictured in Bochum, Germany, April 24, 2018, before Vonovia's annual shareholders meeting in Bochum, May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German residential property firm Vonovia SE VNAn.DE said on Monday it is buying a majority stake in Swedish peer Hembla from a subsidiary of investment firm Blackstone Group Inc BX.N for 1.14 billion euros (1.01 billion pounds).

Vonovia would acquire a 61.2% stake from Vega Holdco, giving the real estate company 69.3% voting right, subject to clearances by Swedish antitrust authorities, which are expected by November.

The acquisition would be done via its subsidiary HomeStart Investco, Vonovia said.

The move is in line with Vonovia’s international expansion strategy and is the company’s second major deal in Sweden after its acquisition of Victoria Park in 2018.

Hembla has 21,411 residential flats, primarily in Stockholm.

Bochum-based Vonovia owns just under 400,000 residences and manages 79,000 in Germany, Austria and Sweden, employing about 10,000 people.

“We are long-term investors in residential housing and offer attractive and high-quality living,” said Chief Executive Rolf Buch.

“Our investment in Hembla is fully complementary with our present footprint.”

Shares in DAX-listed Vonovia dropped up to 3% in thin pre-market trade.

Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Riham Alkousaa and Rashmi Aich