Empire State Building garners $2.1 billion cash bid by mystery would-be buyer
Bids of $2.1 billion and $2 billion for the 102-story skyscraper were revealed in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that was made public Wednesday. The high-stakes offers come as the Empire State Building’s majority owner, Malkin Holdings, is preparing to make the iconic tower part of an initial public offering, even though some smaller investors oppose the move.
The Empire State Building is picturesque, iconic — and worth $2.1 billion? One bidder, a mystery group from the Middle East, apparently thinks so.
Both of the colossal bids are cash offers and the flush Middle Eastern group is prepared to wage a bidding war, a New York real estate executive working with the bidder told the Daily News.
“These people want this asset badly,” said Philip Pilevsky, CEO of Philips International. “If they want something, they’ll get it.”
The bids for the 102-story skyscraper were revealed in a June 24 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that was made public Wednesday.
The high-stakes offers come as the Empire State Building’s majority owner, Malkin Holdings, is preparing to make the iconic tower part of an initial public offering.
Some smaller investors have opposed the move. But they lost a vote last month after Malkin gave them an ultimatum: go along with the IPO or surrender their shares — which could be worth as much as $320,000 each — for just $100 each.
The opposing investors, who are fighting the IPO move in court, want Malkin to take the two bids for the property very seriously, said their lawyer, Stephen Meister.
They may prefer selling the Empire State Building to taking its stock public.
“We don’t know what the stock will trade at — and cash is cash,” Meister said.
Meister and his son, Avison Young investment broker Jason Meister, helped put together the $2 billion bid by Woolworth Building part-owner Rubin Schron. Jason Meister said Schron is offering a $50 million non-refundable deposit.
“That means we’re for real,” he said.
Hugh Burns, a spokesman for Malkin, declined to comment on the two bids.
“We consider all matters, including unsolicited offers, consistent with our fiduciary duties, to form a judgment on what action is appropriate,” the filing said.
The Empire State Building has been valued at $2.53 billion, the Malkins have said in a separate filing.
Pilevsky of Philips International, who along with Joe Tabak of Princeton Holdings is working with the Middle Eastern bidder, said the mystery group already has real estate interests in New York.
The bidder is not Israeli, Pilevsky said.
Tabak didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Empire State Building was the world’s tallest building from its completion in 1931 until 1972.