Apr 18, 2011

Control Freaks

Social media is clearly not yet an accepted way of communicating in a publicaly listed environment. alstria’s short experience in the matter, is that very little (real estate ?) stakeholders actually look at twitter, blogs, LinkedIn and other social media. Still you never know how thinks might develop in the future. So we might want to keep the social media experiment up for a while.

More interestingly, alstria have executed a few weeks ago a capital market transaction, raising around EUR 95 million of fresh capital. Lawyers (both our lawyers, and banks lawyers) first reaction was to shut down any social media communication line. This is way out of control.  Seems that social media and legal disclaimers cannot live together. As a result, this is how our contact details looked like before capital market lawyers’ intervention:

And here is how it looked like after their intervention.

The website could stay online, but we still had to change the disclaimer...

I have not looked into the new Twitter/hedge fund strategy (http://bloom.bg/fOEjNi) but it should definitively use any slowing down in social media activity and/or change in contact details links, as a sign that some deal is looming…

For more about our recent press/ad-hoc releases: http://www.alstria.com/media/


  1. I don't share the experience that only a very few real estate stakeholders use social media. But I definitely agree that it will be more in the future.

    And I made the same experience with lawyers. The "problem" are investors in the country where social media were invented: USA. They should be "protected" from further investments - even if they are already shareholders.

    In Europe we are obliged to publish everything over the whole continent, but especially for US-investors it's a forced unfair disclosure. Crazy.

  2. The rules that prevent US investors from accessing foreign offering materials unless the offering is registered with the SEC need to be revised. They make absolutely no sense and harm rather than protect US investors by denying them access to material information that they need to make an investment decision. As things stand, to access any information about the recent offering, an investor based outside of Germany/Luxembourg has to lie about their residence and identity. If they have ethics or are bound by professional standards of practice, they will not be able to misrepresent themselves on your website.

    No reasonable investor can make an informed judgment about alstria without knowing about the offering, yet that's what is expected by barring shareholders outside of specific countries from accessing the documents.