Empire State IPO a step closer

Almost 60 per cent of the 3,590 investors whose consent is needed have voted in favour

The Empire State Building in New York. Malkin Holdings has sought to create a publicly traded real estate investment trust on the New York Stock Exchange through the roll-up of the landmark skyscraper and other New York-area properties in its portfolio.   Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The Empire State Building in New York. Malkin Holdings has sought to create a publicly traded real estate investment trust on the New York Stock Exchange through the roll-up of the landmark skyscraper and other New York-area properties in its portfolio. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

 

The owner of New York’s Empire State Building has secured nearly three-quarters of the votes needed to move forward with a controversial $1 billion initial public offering (IPO), according to a letter sent to investors yesterday.

Malkin Holdings has sought to create a publicly traded real estate investment trust on the New York Stock Exchange through the roll-up of the landmark skyscraper and other New York-area properties in its portfolio.

Almost 60 per cent of the 3,590 investors in the three public entities whose consent is needed have voted in favour of the consolidation. Eighty per cent have to grant approval for the offering to move forward.

“The very strong support we have received from our participants in such a short period of time . . . is very encouraging,” said Anthony Malkin, chief executive of Malkin Holdings.

Approval would end a year of wrangling with dissident investors who say the proposal may result in a potential loss of income that should rise as renovations to the building are finished. But Mr Malkin said the proposal would give investors greater growth opportunities.

The earliest the Malkins could conclude the voting process is by March 25th.

The last two decades have been marked by a significant migration of private commercial real estate companies into public hands.

Since the downturn, institutional investors at home and abroad have sought out New York’s “trophy properties”.

The Malkin family gained day-to-day management in 2002 and full control in 2010.

The skyscraper is owned by 2,800 unit-holders who have 3,300 shares. For the purpose of solicitation, each share is valued at $323,803, according to the prospectus.

Investors who fail to consent within 10 days after notice of an 80 per cent majority will be bought out at a nominal value – $100 for every $10,000 originally invested. – Copyright The Financial Times 2013