2013 Owners Magazine
Early last month, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund announced it would invest $684 million in a 45 percent stake of Boston Properties’s Times Square Tower.
No small achievement, the investment is the Norwegian Government Pension Fund’s second real estate play in the United States in a span of just eight months as it seeks to rev up its portfolio to as much as 5 percent of total assets under management.
The uptick in activity, prompted in part by the fund’s desire to reduce its exposure to the bond market, is a welcome development for real estate’s largest institutional players now seeking to realize gains on investments made during the past decade and to deploy capital in other sectors of the market.
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, has agreed to acquire a 45 percent interest in Times Square Tower from Boston Properties for $684 million in cash.
The acquisition agreement, signed on September 6, values the entire building at $1.52 billion. Following the close of the sale, Boston Properties will retain management and leasing responsibilities.
Though not a traditional owner-operator, TIAA-CREF has begun to draw the attention of the real estate industry in recent months for a bevy of deals, including its acquisition of a stake in the Frank Gehry-designed building at 8 Spruce Street and a joint venture with Norges Bank Investment Management.
The asset management firm’s steady persistence in the real estate market during the downturn has led to a realization of gains, and recent deals could lead to the redeployment of capital in key markets going forward, said analysts familiar with the firm’s strategy going into 2013.
“TIAA is one of the investors that was pretty active in the depths of the market in 2009 and 2010, and some of those investments have turned into significant home runs,” said Dan Fasulo, managing director and head of research at Real Capital Analytics.