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Starwood raises US$810M, may be this year's top IPO

Starwood Property Trust Inc priced shares for US$20 yesterday and twice boosted the number of shares offered in what is likely to emerge as the largest US initial public stock offering of the year. Starwood Property, a unit of private equity firm Starwood Capital Group, sold 40.5 million shares, raising US$810M, one of the deal's underwriters said. Earlier in the day, Starwood had increased the number of shares to be sold in the IPO by 35% to 33.75 million. The underwriters, led by Deutsche Bank Securities, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and Citi, have the option to buy another 6.075 million shares. If that happens, the Starwood IPO would surpass the US$828M stock flotation in February by pediatrics nutrition maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co, the top IPO so far in 2009. Starwood Property, which was created in May and filed for the IPO in June, intends to invest the proceeds in commercial mortgage-backed securities sold under the U.S. government's public-private investment program, or PPIP.