The Empire State Building REIT Saga Continues; Bids Could Delay IPO
The Empire State Building in New York City is one of the most iconic and legendary structures of the country. Nothing about it is mediocre. Therefore, when Malkin Holdings LLC, the company that manages the building, decided to roll it into a public Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), an equally controversial series of events followed.
The tale of the building's journey through the controversy is nothing short of a dramatic movie. After battling with dissident shareholders who opposed the Initial Public Offering Plan (IPO) for almost a year, the Malkins finally managed to secure the required number of votes to take the tower public and make it a part of the country's second largest IPO which aims to raise $1 billion in stock.
However, if you thought that all was well in the "Empire State Land" and the building will peacefully be a part of another celebrated REIT, not so fast!
Since the Malkins' victory over the opposing shareholders, continuous bids to purchase buildings part of the portfolio have been pouring in. Many affluent developers and investors have been betting some good cash on the Empire State Building alone. Builder Rubin Schron kick-started the bids trend with his $2.1 billion offer in June. Other developers like Joe Sitt and Reuven Kahane and a group of investors followed suit with offers reaching up to $2.25 billion. More recently, Thor Equities reportedly offered a sum more than $2.5 billion for the building, reports Reuters.
The latest to join the bidding group is developer, Andrew Penson, who apparently offered $710 million for One Grand Central Place - a structure which also belongs to the IPO portfolio. Interestingly, Penson is one of the opposing shareholders of the IPO plan, according to the Wall Street Journal.The Malkins noted the unsolicited offer in a "July Securities filing without disclosing the identity of the bidder."
According to the Commercial Observer, in light of all the offers, Anthony and Peter Malkin sent a letter to the investors:
"We consider all matters, including unsolicited proposals, consistent with our fiduciary duties, to form a judgment on what action is appropriate. We do not intend to issue a comment until after our review."
Experts believe that the bids could slow down the IPO proceedings. Some of the offers were super lucrative and hard to turn down, especially because their value was higher than what the IPO would offer. However, the offers were lesser than what the buildings were appraised for. Spokespersons for the Malkins declined to comment on the issue.
The fate of the IPO still remains uncertain. Until the Malkins issue an official statement about the offers, the saga will continue.