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Qatar Wealth Fund Buys 9.9% Stake in Empire State Building Owner

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Qatar Investment Authority, the Middle Eastern country’s sovereign wealth fund, bought almost 10 percent of Empire State Building owner Empire State Realty Trust as it boosts investments in North America and the Asia Pacific region.

The fund acquired 29.6 million newly issued Class A common shares at $21 each and will have a 9.9 percent economic and voting interest in the real estate investment trust. The acquisition translates into a new $622 million investment in Empire State Realty, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The cash infusion may signal that the REIT is ready to buy new properties, KeyBanc analyst Craig Mailman said in a research note.

“Acquisition activity may be on the horizon,” he wrote. “The direct investment further bolsters Empire State Realty’s already ample balance-sheet capacity.”

For Empire State Realty, the investment will help it “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,” John Kessler, the company’s president, said in the statement.

Shares of Empire State Realty climbed as much as 3.3 percent in New York trading and the stock was up 10 cents at $20.62 as of 9:33 a.m. – READ MORE

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