Building Site

WFW advises Fondshaus Hamburg Immobilien on the acquisition of student apartment blocks in Darmstadt and Mainz, Germany

5 April 2013


Watson, Farley & Williams (WFW), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that it has advised Fondshaus Hamburg Immobilien (FHHI) on the acquisition by its fund FHH Immobilien 15 – Studieren & Wohnen II of majority stakes of two of GBI AG’s property management companies.

Both property companies are currently developing student residences in Darmstadt and Mainz with 155 and 143 apartments respectively. After completion by the end of 2014 (Darmstadt) and beginning of 2015 (Mainz), these apartments will be operated under the SMARTments brand and managed by FDS, a non-profit organisation. The parties have agreed not to disclose further details of the transaction.

WFW advised FHHI on all aspects of this share deal, from due diligence, contract negotiations to tax structuring of and creating a prospectus for the fund. Furthermore, WFW advised on the construction and building law aspects of this transaction.

FHHI, a joint venture between Hamburg-based Christian F. Ahrenkiel Group, a shipowning and management group, and Hochtief Solutions AG is a specialist in the conceptualisation and issuance of closed-end property funds in Germany. Further elements of their activities include property acquisition, support of investors and property management.

Lead partner Sebastian Baum commented: “The increasing shortage of affordable student housing in German university towns means that student residences are being seen as an interesting asset class for closed-end property funds. In 2011, WFW successfully advised FHHI on the acquisition of two apartment complexes in Hamburg and Frankfurt for its first property fund, FHH Immobilien 12. This fund has already been placed in full, and the residence in Hamburg is operating at full capacity. With the implementation of the FHH Immobilien 15 – Studieren & Wohnen II property fund, FHHI aims to continue this success.”

The Hamburg team was led by partners Dr. Sebastian Baum (Corporate) and Verena Scheibe (Tax). They were supported by associates Florian Leonhard (Corporate), Silvia Ribeiro da Cunha Heimberg (Property) and Timo Kopmann (Tax).