June 5, 2019 / 8:47 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Norway sells part of stake in property firm Entra for NOK 2.5 bln

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OSLO, June 5 (Reuters) - Norway has sold a third of its stake in property firm Entra for 2.5 billion crowns ($288 million), it said on Wednesday, as part of the conservative-led government’s privatisation push.

The government of Prime Minister Erna Solberg, in power since 2013, has slightly reduced the state’s role in the corporate arena by divesting some stakes in listed companies.

In the latest move, the government sold 11% of the share capital, or 20.3 million shares, for 123.5 Norwegian crowns ($14.20) per share. The Norwegian state will retain a 22.4% stake in the firm.

The ministry will not sell more shares within 90 days without prior consent of the joint bookrunners, it said.

ABG Sundal Collier, Carnegie and UBS advised the ministry.

The buyers are “existing and new shareholders in Norway and abroad,” the industry ministry said, without naming them.

Anders Olstad, the chief financial officer of Entra, was among the buyers and acquired 5,292 shares, Entra said in a separate statement.

The Norwegian government controls the country’s largest oil and gas firm Equinor and telecom operator Telenor . It also holds significant stakes in the country’s largest bank DNB, aluminium producer Norsk Hydro and fertilizers maker Yara.

The centre-right government wants to reduce its stakes in state-controlled companies but wants the Norwegian state to continue playing a significant role in the companies.

The latest available report on state ownership showed stakes in listed companies worth about 716 billion crowns at the end of 2017, with Entra shares accounting for 1.3% of the total.

Oslo-listed Entra’s shares were trading lower 1.9% by 0818 GMT, while the benchmark index was up 0.23%. ($1 = 8.6944 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis and Gwladys Fouche)

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