BERLIN-Locally based housing company GSW, controlled by Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall Funds and private equity group Cerberus, is one of the largest real estate portfolios eyeing a stock exchange listing in the New Year, and preparations for an IPO moved into higher gear in November.

The Financial Times Deutschland newspaper, quoting internal sources, said GSW could have a total market valuation of up to €900 million and would be a candidate for the MDAX medium-company segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank have been mandated to lead manage the placement. No further details or confirmation were available.

GSW, the largest housing company in ownership of Berlin city holding around 66,000 apartment units, was sold in 2004, along with debt of nearly €1.6 billion. The two investments groups took 90% and a Berlin holding firm, Context, the remaining 10% – originally undertaking to keep their stakes for a period of 10 years. The GSW portfolio now numbers around 70,000 apartments, and the company has traded profitably for the last two years, earning around €100 million annually at the operating level.

Allan Saundersonis a managing editor of Property Finance Europe and a contributor to

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