You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Business

  • Column: Hog prices grind lower
    Hog producers have been able to offset animal losses by fattening up the remaining hogs on inexpensive corn.
  • GM boosted June sales with discounts to dealers
    As General Motors prepares to report monthly sales results on Friday, a look its numbers from June show just how intent the company is on keeping new-car sales on the rise during a record spate of safety recalls.
  • Target taps outsider as next CEO
    NEW YORK – Target is bringing in an outsider as its CEO for the first time as the retailer fights to redefine itself to American shoppers.
Advertisement
Associated Press
New York’s 102-story Empire State Building, completed in 1931, still stands heads and shoulders above other Manhattan high-rises.

Judge letting IPO of NY icon advance

– A legal challenge to an ambitious plan to let the public buy shares in one of New York City’s most famous landmarks – the Empire State Building – was cast aside Tuesday in a ruling by a Manhattan judge.

Judge O. Peter Sherwood rejected arguments by a small group of current investors in the building that the initial public offering would violate state law.

The ruling stems from a long-running dispute over plans by real estate magnates Peter Malkin and his son Anthony to offer the public shares in their holdings in Manhattan and Connecticut, including the 102-story Empire State Building.

The offering is expected to raise $1 billion for a new company called Empire State Trust Inc.

Some of the country’s marquee buildings, including the General Motors building in New York and the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, are owned by publicly traded companies.

But the IPO for the Empire State Building is viewed as a rare chance for investors to own a piece of history – an iconic Art Deco skyscraper visited by millions of tourists each year and featured in films like “King Kong” and “Sleepless in Seattle.”

When the Empire State Building changed hands in 1961, the buyers sold 1,100 shares at $10,000 a share to help finance the deal. Some of the 3,300 investors were ordinary New Yorkers who pulled together just enough cash to buy partial shares.

The Empire State Building’s controlling investors have said they are close to getting approval of 80 percent of the smaller shareholders for the public offering – the percentage needed to go forward.

“We are pleased by the court’s ruling and are proceeding with our solicitation with the intention of closing as soon as we reach the approval threshold,” said Hugh Burns, spokesman for Malkin Holdings. “The fact is that far more investors support this transaction than oppose it. We are focused on delivering the majority what they want as quickly as possible.”

There was no immediate comment from the plans’ opponents, but their lawyers have said they would appeal if the ruling went against them.

Before Tuesday’s ruling, a small group of holdouts had challenged a provision that would allow the Malkins to buy them out for $100 a share if they voted against the plan.

Advertisement