Wiesbaden, 19 May 2020 – The Management Board of Aareal Bank AG resolved today to enter into discussions with a select group of long-term financial investors – within the framework of a structured process – on the sale of a significant minority stake in subsidiary Aareon AG. The goal of this process is to join forces with a partner, in order to further strengthen Aareon's growth prospects and to further expedite its growth programme – in an environment that is currently favourable for tech enterprises such as Aareon. Aareal Bank intends to remain Aareon’s majority shareholder.
The process should be carried out quickly and without prejudice to the outcome, whilst exercising due diligence in its application. Aareal Bank has retained Arma Partners, a consultancy specialising on the technology sector, as financial advisors. The Management Board and Supervisory Board will decide on a possible partnership specifically on the basis of the knowledge gained in the process. From today's point of view, besides the commercial aspects of a potential transaction, key criteria will especially include support for Aareon's growth strategy, particularly in terms of stepping up M&A activities, and the potential partner's specific transaction and sector expertise.
Hermann J. Merkens, Chairman of the Management Board of Aareal Bank AG, commented: “Aareon is an integral part of Aareal Bank Group’s strategy, which has been further developed under the motto of ‘Aareal Next Level’. In this context, we explained that we are generally prepared to enter into strategic partnerships, as a sensible option to further accelerate Aareon's dynamic development. Now is exactly the right time to give serious thought to such a measure. The market environment for tech enterprises such as Aareon is good. As a stable and reliable, fast-growing and innovative partner and digital pioneer to the European property sector, Aareon is particularly attractive and important for clients, thanks to its ground-breaking products, its innovative strength and its forward-looking conduct. By launching a structured process for the possible sale of a minority stake in Aareon, we have simultaneously demonstrated Aareal Bank Group's ability to consistently pursue its strategic objectives – even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.