Qatar's sovereign fund, Crown Acquisitions named as investors in $5.6 bln New York deal
(Adds details on QIA's New York holdings, adds bylines)
By Herbert Lash and Saeed Azhar
NEW YORK/DUBAI, April 19 (Reuters) - Qatar Investment
Authority (QIA) and private realty firm Crown Acquisitions said
on Friday they were the unnamed investors in a deal with Vornado
Realty Trust valued at $5.56 billion that involves a
portfolio of prime New York retail properties.
Vornado sold a non-controlling stake in its portfolio of
properties along Fifth Avenue and Broadway in Times Square in a
transaction that provided the firm cash proceeds of about $1.2
billion, the firm said on Thursday.
Neither QIA, Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, or Crown
Acquisitions were named on Thursday as the investors who
contributed $1.31 billion in cash in a newly created joint
venture with Vornado.
QIA and Crown Acquisitions, which acted as an advisor to the
deal, said they acquired a 24% stake each in a portfolio of five
ground-level stores along a swath of Fifth Avenue just north of
St. Patrick's Cathedral and two sites in Times Square.
The deal comprised $950 million of mortgage debt, $1.83
billion of preferred equity entirely held by Vornado and $2.78
billion of common equity in which Vornado holds 51%.
The portfolio include stores at 666 Fifth Avenue, a building
that has been in the news because it was owned by the family of
Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, until
Brookfield Asset Management bought a 99-year lease on the office
portion last August.
QIA Chief Executive Mansoor al-Mahmoud said in a statement
the investment underlined QIA's ambition to boost its U.S.
investments to $45 billion in coming years and "our belief in
the exciting long-term possibilities offered by New York City."
The retail portfolio includes such brands as MAC, Polo,
Forever 21 and Disney.
QIA also is an investor in Brookfield and the transaction at
666 Fifth Avenue involving Kushner Cos had prompted a rethink of
how the gas-rich kingdom invests money abroad via the sovereign
wealth fund, two sources told Reuters earlier this year.
Qatar had decided that QIA would aim to avoid investing in
funds or other vehicles it does not fully control, according to
the sources, who are familiar with the strategy.
Qatar, whose wealth comes from the world's largest exports
of liquefied natural gas, manages about $300 billion in assets.
Mahmoud told Reuters in December the fund was focusing on
"classic" investments in the West such as real estate and
financial institutions, and would also accelerate investment in
technology and healthcare.
With oil and gas prices growing over the past two years,
Qatar has not departed from what it is best known for - snapping
up big-name properties.
(Reporting by Saeed Azhar; editing by David Evans and
First Published: 2019-04-19 18:28:20
Updated 2019-04-19 21:35:45
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