The Real Deal New York

The MetLife Building has a secret billionaire owner

Tishman Speyer’s stake in skyscraper is less than 3%
March 11, 2015 02:10PM

Talk about under-the-radar. Donald Bren, a California-based billionaire who is the chairman of the Irvine Company, owns 97.3 percent of the iconic MetLife building, one of the country’s most recognizable skyscrapers.

The billionaire has quietly ramped up his stake over the past decade, according to Bloomberg.

Tishman Speyer bought the property in 2005 for $1.79 billion and is still the managing partner and face of the property, according to the website. The company’s current stake in the building, however, is less than 3 percent, Bloomberg reported.

Irvine Company acquired its first stake in the 58-story, 3 million-square-foot tower at 200 Park Avenue in 2005. The property is valued at almost $3 billion, which makes it one of the most valuable properties in the country. [Bloomberg] — Claire Moses

  • David Brown

    Probably a smart deal structure from a tax perspective. Sale of land at Irvine in California generates taxable gains that can be deferred by reinvesting in Metlife. He presumably could time his increasing ownership in the latter to co-incide with the timing of the former. Unfortunately, once he reaches 100%, he’ll have to find another building to invest in!