UPDATE 1-Empire State Building inches closer to IPO

Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:14am EDT

March 15 (Reuters) - The company that controls the Empire State Building said a majority of investors who have voted so far have approved its proposal to fold the iconic building into a new real estate investment trust (REIT) that will eventually be publicly traded.

Malkin Holdings LLC said 90 percent of the two-thirds of the investors who have voted to date favor its plan to make the building the centerpiece of more than 18 properties in the proposed REIT, Empire State Realty Trust Inc.

Investors have until March 25 to vote on the move, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Empire State Building, which was completed in 1931, was the world's tallest building for four decades. In 1961, individual investors had the chance to pay $10,000 for one of the 3,300 "units" of Empire State Building Associates, the company that owns the building. Those units amounted to private partnership shares in the company.

The units, now held by 2,824 investors, could now be worth more than $320,000 apiece.

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