Empire State Building to open its doors for investors this week

City A.M. Reporter
THE FAMILY that controls the Empire State Building plans to kick off a formal roadshow to sell the iconic tower as early as this week by offering shares in a real estate investment trust (REIT), a person familiar with the matter said yesterday.

The building and its investors are managed by Malkin Holdings, which is spearheading the initial public offering and hopes to price the offering as early as the first week of October through lead underwriters Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.

The landmark tower, the world’s tallest from its completion in 1931 until 1972, is to be rolled out as a REIT, called Empire State Realty Trust, and is expected to raise about $1bn (£620m) in proceeds from an IPO.

The Malkin family is hoping to sell the trust at a yield of five to 5.5 per cent, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited one person who discussed the offering with the family.

Thor Equities last month raised its offer to buy the Empire State Building to $1.4bn in cash, hoping to trump the plan to roll the landmark property into a trust.

The sale would be an alternative to the REIT, which already has the approval of nearly all the investors in the building. The Empire State Building is a major tourist attraction.