By Ilaina Jonas
NEW YORK, June 26 The owners of the Empire State
Building, an iconic part of New York's skyline, have received
another unsolicited offer to buy the landmark skyscraper, which
is set to become the centerpiece of a real estate investment
trust that would become publicly traded, according to a
regulatory filing on Wednesday.
Malkin Holdings LLC, which oversees the Empire State
Building's investors and operations, said in a letter to
investors that it was reviewing two unsolicited bids - one for
$2.1 billion and the other for $2 billion - to buy the 102-story
building. The letter was included in a filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.
"We consider all matters, including unsolicited offers,
consistent with our fiduciary duties, to form a judgment on what
action is appropriate," Malkin Holdings said in the letter. "We
do not intend to issue a comment until after our review."
Opened in 1931 during the Great Depression, the Empire State
Building is one of New York City's leading tourist attractions -
known for its Art Deco tower and its colored lights at night.
The building, listed as a National Historic Landmark, has been
featured in movies ranging from "King Kong" to "An Affair to
Remember" and "Annie Hall."
Meister Seelig & Fein LLP, the law firm representing
investors who oppose the REIT plan, disclosed a letter last week
from privately held Cammeby's International Group offering to
buy the building for $2 billion.
The second bidder's identity was not disclosed in the most
recent SEC filing.
Malkin Holdings led the plan to put the Empire State
Building and more than 17 other properties into a real estate
investment trust called Empire State Realty Trust Inc, which
would become publicly traded under the proposed symbol "ESB" on
the New York Stock Exchange. Investors recently approved the
REIT plan by a super majority.
Malkin Holdings, the Helmsley Trust and investors would have
to approve a sale. The Helmsley Trust is the majority owner of
the company that owns the building's master lease. The master
lease expires in 2076.
An appraisal conducted last summer valued the Empire State
Building at about $2.33 billion, after debt, according to the
SEC filing. Including the mortgage, the historic skyscraper is
valued at about $2.53 billion, that appraisal showed.