Norwegian Mega-Fund Helped Finance Empire State Realty Trust's Public Offering

on October 31 2013 12:43 PM

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund participated in the $929.5 million IPO of Empire State Realty Trust Inc., (NYSE:ESRT), which began trading in New York earlier this month.

While the fund did not explicitly confirm its involvement, a source with knowledge of its activities told Bloomberg that it was one of the top 10 stock buyers in the IPO process. The fund refused to explicitly confirm its involvement, but its chief executive implied as much during an interview in Oslo on Oct. 25.

“In IPOs of this size, it’s fair to assume that we have participated,” said Yngve Slyngstad, the fund’s chief executive. At the end of 2012, the fund owned an average of 1.2 percent of the world’s listed companies.

At 12:17 p.m. on Thursday, Empire State Realty Trust stock was trading at $14.09 per share, up 1 percent from its opening price of $13.99. Since the IPO, the stock has risen 8 percent and currently has a market capitalization of $1.46 billion.

This is not the Norwegian fund's first foray into New York real estate. As part of a plan to increase its real estate holdings to 5 percent of its total investment, it agreed to pay $684 million in September to purchase a 45 percent stake in New York's Times Square Tower office building.

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