Boston Properties to sell interest in two assets valued at about $1.7 billion

(Reuters) -Real estate investment trust Boston Properties on Tuesday agreed to sell a 45% interest in two Massachusetts-based life sciences development properties to Norges Bank Investment Management at a gross valuation of about $1.66 billion.

Shares of the REIT rose 9.4% in early trading and were on track for their best day in more than five months at current levels.

Massachusetts, especially Cambridge and Boston, is known to be a hotspot for biotech companies including Moderna. The state is also regarded as the top biopharma cluster in the United States.

Norges Bank Investment Management is investing $746.4 million to form the joint ventures to own both properties totaling nearly 810,000 square feet.

Boston Properties, which is the largest publicly traded developer, and manager of premier workplaces, will retain a 55% interest in 290 and 300 Binney Street, and provide development, management and leasing services.

290 Binney Street is under construction and pre-leased to AstraZeneca, while 300 Binney Street is under redevelopment and pre-leased to the Broad Institute, a non-profit organization.

(Reporting by Mehr Bedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)