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Business News

High finance: Empire state owner in flotation


Americans are about to be offered the chance to own a slice of the Empire State Building as the family which owns it and 18 other properties in New York kick-starts a share flotation.

Empire State Realty Trust is expected to offer around  $1 billion (£626 million) worth of shares valuing the whole group at $5 billion.

But at the same time the Malkin family has received a  $1.4 billion offer for the  Empire State Building from Thor Equities, the vehicle of another New York City landlord, Joseph Sitt.

That is more than the  $1.18 billion at which the building, which was the tallest in the world between its completion in 1931 and 1972, is valued at in the Malkin books.

The 102-storey Empire State Building is a major tourist attraction, known for its Art Deco tower and light display  at night.

The Malkin family has a  15.43% stake in Empire State Building Associates and a  6.7% stake in Empire State Building Co.

They claim that they have the backing of a majority of investors in the building for the share sale. However, there is a group of dissident investors who favour an outright takeover bid.