GCC Public funds queue up for stakes in BlackRock

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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World’s largest asset manager, BlackRock has been in the spotlight among some of the world’s largest institutional investors and sovereign funds when a significant share portion was sold earlier this month.

Wellington Management, Capital Group Cos. and Fidelity Investments who were already invested in the corporation were among those who purchased shares when PNC Financial Services Group Inc. traded a $14 billion BlackRock share recently. Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund and Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte also grew their shares during this period.

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co., the Kuwait Investment Authority, Qatar Investment Authority and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund all participated in the trade.

Founder and CEO Larry Fink has been a frequent talker at ceremonies organized by Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund. In April 2019, Fink took part at a Riyadh conference besides the finance ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. a few months earlier, he was in Abu Dhabi for a gathering with ruler Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and signed an agreement to spend in the emirate’s oil infrastructure.

Shares of BlackRock concluded Wednesday at $536.40 each, providing the corporation a market estimation of about $82 billion. That means investors who obtained stakes from PNC earned a 27% gain in about two weeks’ time.

The unexpected gain

PNC’s trade is the second-largest secondary deal of a U.S. company on account. The robust interest from these deep-pocketed investors helped PNC seal the deal swiftly. The U.S. angel sold the stock within four days of updating BlackRock about its plans.

The transaction marked the end of a 25-year-plus association between PNC and the world’s largest asset manager. Pittsburgh-based PNC funded $240 million in 1994 when BlackRock was a six-year-old firm. The asset manager went public five years later at $14 a share.