McDermott Has Advised Free State of Thuringia and City of Gera on Acquisition of Majority Stake in GWB Elstertal


McDermott Will & Emery has advised the Free State of Thuringia and the City of Gera on the acquisition of a 74.9% majority stake in GWB Elstertal Geraer Wohnungsbaugesellschaft mbH (GWB) by a fund company held by the Free State.

The seller is the British private equity real estate fund manager Benson Elliot Capital Management LLP on behalf of its fund Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners IV (BEREP IV).

Benson Elliot had acquired a majority interest in GWB in August 2016 following the insolvency of the municipal utility Geraer Stadtwerke. At that time, GWB owned and managed a portfolio of approximately 330 buildings with 6,700 residential units and 402,000 sqm of rentable space. Since then, GWB’s portfolio has been upgraded through targeted investments, sales of vacant spaces and optimized management processes. Today it comprises around 5,000 residential and commercial units.

The acquisition of the majority stake in GWB is the first large-volume transaction in Germany in which formerly privatized residential space is returned to public ownership.

The McDermott team advising the Free State of Thuringia and the City of Gera was led by Christoph Coenen and included Maximilian Clostermeyer, Nina Siewert, Alexa Ningelgen, Daniel von Brevern, and Mirjam Büsch.

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