Empire State Building accord wins preliminary approval-report

Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:14am EST

Feb 21 (Reuters) - A New York court gave preliminary approval for a $55 million settlement aimed at allowing the initial public offering of a real estate investment trust that would include the iconic Empire State Building, Bloomberg reported.

The settlement was reached in September between Malkin Holdings and a group of investors in Empire State Building Associates, who had earlier sued to stop the plan, in part because they objected to the tax treatment they would face.

The agreement, which must receive final court approval, will let Empire State Realty Trust Inc, which controls the Manhattan skyscraper, continue its plan to become a real-estate investment trust and sell shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

"We are very pleased with today's decisions which granted preliminary approval of the settlement," Malkin Holdings said in a statement to Bloomberg. "We will continue to move forward with the vote on the proposed transaction, which we believe is in the best interests of all investors."

Lawyers representing Malkin Holdings and the investor group could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside of regular U.S. business hours.

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