Transparency is crucial – throughout the entire acquisition process
The final review is an integral part of every acquisition. Introduced by Jürgen Ehrlich back in the DIFA days, no sale & purchase agreement is signed without it. Final reviews thus take place 30 to 40 times a year.
“Many different internal and external decision makers are usually involved in a property acquisition. The full array of internal and external expertise is brought together at the final review, with all the facts being laid on the table one last time,” says Dr. Frank Billand, a former member of the senior management team at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH. Drawing on in-depth analyses and assessments, this is where essential refurbishment work, contingent conditions and possible price concessions are identified, discussed in detail and included in the sale & purchase agreement as appropriate.
An obligatory meeting based on meticulous preparation
Ahead of the final review, all surveys and negotiations must be brought to a provisional conclusion. All available information on the potential acquisition is incorporated into the decision-making process. “We make sure the property doesn’t harbour any surprises for us or our investors. The final review is an important quality assurance and quality management tool and has become a real fixture,” says Dr. Billand. But holding the final review doesn’t mean the work is over.
Minutes are created during the meeting, typically involving a long list of action items, which are then distributed at the end. Everyone thus knows what needs to be done before the sale & purchase agreement can be signed. With some 30 to 40 purchase transactions taking place a year, the final review meetings figure prominently in the schedules of the relevant experts from the fund management, investment management, asset management and valuation departments. The knowledge and experience of external research, technical and environmental specialists add further transparency to the acquisition process. “It can be a bit of an ordeal,” says Billand. "But everyone sees the value of it."