The Real Deal New York

Thor ups bid for Empire State Building

By Adam Pincus | September 09, 2013 08:28PM

UPDATED, Sep. 10, 9:00 a.m.: Three days after Malkin Holdings informed investors that they would continue with a planned initial public offering of the Empire State Building and other properties, Thor Equities increased its bid for the fee interest in the Art Deco tower to $1.4 billion.

The price is above the appraised value of the Empire State Building Associates, the entity that controls the fee ownership of the building, as well as the exchange value of the ESBA; both figures are used to determine the relative value of the building in an IPO.

Thor made the offer this afternoon in a letter sent by attorney Stephen Meister, a partner with the law firm Meister Seelig & Fein, who has represented a group of investors seeking to derail the IPO through the courts.

Thor has made three previous bids for the property: One for an undisclosed amount, but greater than $2.1 billion; another for the ESBA position; and a third for the Empire State Building Company, which operates the building through a sublease. The amounts of the last two bids were not disclosed either but were lower than $1.4 billion.

Sitt’s initial bid above $2.1 billion was for both the property, owned by ESBA; and the sublease, held by ESBC. His most recent bid is just for the property, owned by ESBA.

The latest bid continues a struggle between Malkin Holdings, which owns large stakes in the ESBA and ESBC, and other investors who would rather sell the tower than take it public.

Malkin Holdings through an outside spokesperson, declined to comment. Sitt declined to comment.

Jason Meister, a vice president at the brokerage firm Avison Young, confirmed the bid had been made, but would not confirm the price.