Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) has increased its shareholding in Shaftesbury Plc twice in two weeks, leading to rumours of a takeover bid.
It is reported that NBIM has increased its shareholding from 22% to 23.1% this week, following another major investment in February. This takes it close to the 25% share owned by Hong Kong billionaire investor Sammy Tak Lee who is also reportedly considering a takeover.
NBIM is part of Norway’s state-owned Norges Bank, thought to be the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. It is already a major West End property owner with substantial holdings in Oxford Street and Savile Row. Shaftesbury owns 14.5 acres of the West End including around 600 properties thought to be worth £2.7bn.
This is Monopoly …. but on a giant scale. It underlines the ultra-prime nature of the central London market, Brexit or not.