Entra Raises $410 Million in IPO as Fredriksen Purchases 10%

Entra ASA raised 2.7 billion kroner ($410 million) in selling new shares in an initial public offering that fell short of the top range of the sale.

The deal included 41.5 million in new shares and 38.9 million shares from its owner, the Norwegian government, which cut its stake to 56.2 percent, the real estate company said today. They priced at 65 kroner apiece, compared with an initial range of 61 kroner to 72 kroner. Entra targeted selling as many as 44.3 million new shares and the government had sought to sell between 29 million to 64.7 million.

The shares gained 1.9 percent to 66.25 as of 10:06 a.m. in Oslo.

Billionaire John Fredriksen bought 18.35 million shares, or about 10 percent, of Entra, his investment company Geveran Trading Company Ltd. said in a statement. Geveran has also recently boosted its stake in Norwegian Property ASA to 30 percent.

Norway’s Conservative-led government came to power last year promising to reduce the state’s role in the economy of Scandinavia’s richest country. It said in June it would seek to reduce ownership in telecommunications operator Telenor ASA and weapons producer Kongsberg Gruppen ASA. The offering was priced amid plunging markets. The benchmark OBX index has plunged 16 percent since a high in June.

“This is an important step to ensure diversity and increased private ownership,” Trade Minister Monica Maeland said when the government announced the offering this month.

Entra was created in 2000 when Norway separated its commercial real-estate from Statsbygg, the government’s property manager. The company is the market leader in office-buildings in Norway, owning and managing 107 buildings that cover 1.3 million square meters (14 million square feet). Its properties, which include the national library in Oslo, were valued at 27 billion kroner as of the second quarter, it said on its website.

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