Fornebu Surges as OBOS Pays 46% Premium for Control: Oslo Mover

Fornebu Utvikling ASA (FBU) rose the most on record in Oslo trading after Oslo Bolig- og Sparelag bought shares at a 46 percent premium to gain control of the developer of Norway’s largest housing project.

Fornebu shares rose as much as 46 percent, the most since the 2007 listing, and were up 45 percent at 2.44 kroner at 11:03 a.m. local time. The shares dropped 28 percent last year, after rising 50 percent in 2010. The shares were bought from Orkla ASA (ORK), among others.

OBOS, a cooperative building association owned by its members, agreed to buy about 494 million shares at 2.45 kroner apiece, raising its stake to 77.5 percent. That was a 46 percent premium above yesterday’s close, valuing the company at 2 billion kroner ($340 million). OBOS must make a mandatory offer for the remainder four weeks after the completion of the deal.

Fornebu Utvikling, which is developing Norway’s biggest housing project on the site of Oslo’s former airport, said in its third-quarter report that had completed a financial restructuring and had a “solid” financial platform. The company’s third-quarter net loss narrowed to 32.5 million kroner from 113.6 million kroner a year earlier.

“This gives OBOS members an increased supply of attractive housing in Oslo’s finest residential area,” Martin Maeland, chief executive officer of OBOS, said in a statement. “We consider Fornebu development as a long-term investment and want to work closely with current management in Fornebu Development to help the company to achieve its long-term goal.”

OBOS manages and develops real estate properties and manages more than a third of all residential real estate in Oslo, according to its website.

Orkla, which is selling off assets to focus on its consumer brands business, sold its 32 percent stake, while Canica AS, the investment company of Orkla Chairman Stein Erik Hagen, sold its 5.97 percent stake. In addition, funds managed by QVT Financial LP sold 163 million shares, or 19.6 percent of the shares.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meera Bhatia in Oslo at mbhatia2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

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