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Wed 24 Aug 2016 09:08 AM

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Qatar buys $622m stake in Empire State Building owner

QIA acquires 9.9% economic and voting interest in the company

Qatar buys $622m stake in Empire State Building owner
(John Moore/Getty Images)

Qatar Investment Authority has invested $622 million in the owner of New York’s Empire State Building.

Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT), a real estate investment trust with office and retail properties in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan area, announced that an affiliate of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has acquired a 9.9% economic and voting interest in the company. ESRT, in its statement, said QIA purchased 29.6 million newly issued Class A common shares of Empire State Realty Trust at $21 per share.

John B. Kessler, Empire State Realty Trust’s president and CEO said QIA’s investment was an endorsement of ESRT’s strategy and portfolio of assets, and would give the company financial strength to grow further.

“We continue to plan for the future, now with more capital and one of the most sophisticated and reliable real estate investors in the world as our partner,” he said.

“As we continue our internal growth strategy execution, added strength and flexibility in our balance sheet expand our capacity to take advantage of opportunities through external growth.”

Empire State Trust, currently valued at $2.54 billion, went public in 2013 with a view expanding its portfolio in the Manhattan property market, as well as refurbishing its existing properties, including the Empire State Building.

QIA, which has about $338 billion of assets according to industry tracker Sovereign Wealth Center,  opened an office in New York in September last year, and announced plans to spend $35 billion in the US over the next five years, a move that diversified the state fund away from investments traditionally focused on Europe.

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