Ben Ashkenazy is the secret ingredient in Nightingale, Wafra’s Coca-Cola deal

Retail powerhouse joining buyers in $907M deal

TRD New York /
May.May 22, 2019 06:21 PM
Clockwise from left: Ben Ashkenazy, 711 5th Avenue, Wafra CEO Fawaz Al-Mubaraki, and Nightingale Properties' Elie Schwartz (Credit: Google Maps; Wafra)

Clockwise from left: Ben Ashkenazy, 711 5th Avenue, Wafra CEO Fawaz Al-Mubaraki, and Nightingale Properties’ Elie Schwartz (Credit: Google Maps; Wafra)

Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. is joining Nightingale Properties and the Wafra Group on their $907 million bid to buy the Coca-Cola building on Fifth Avenue.

Ben Ashkenazy’s investment firm, a major player in high-street retail is putting $50 million worth of equity into the deal, sources told The Real Deal.

Elie Schwartz and Simon Singer’s Nightingale Properties teamed up with Wafra Group – the investment vehicle owned by Kuwait’s Public Institution for Social Security pension fund — to buy the trophy property at 711 Fifth Avenue from the Coca-Cola Company for $907 million.

Wafra is putting $140 million into the deal as preferred equity, and Nightingale is putting in $10 million, sources told TRD. The partners are looking for about $800 million in debt to fund the acquisition and cover closing costs.

Representatives for Ashkenazy Acquisition and Wafra Group could not be immediately reached for comment. A representative for Nightingale Properties declined to comment.

The partners’ acquisition of a prime corner on Manhattan’s premiere shopping strip is penciling out as something of a high-wire act.

At $800 million in debt, the deal works out to more than 88 percent loan-to-value for the 345,000-square-foot retail and office building. Nightingale, Ashkenazy and Wafra are working on a plan to lower their basis by getting tenants Ralph Lauren and Breguet to buy out their pricey retail leases.

While the three partners have a contract to buy the property, sources said they weren’t the highest bidders on the deal.

An unidentified, high-net-worth individual put in a bid of $975 million, according to a source familiar with the bid process. And a partnership of Michael Shvo and Jeff Sutton – backed by a group of German pension funds – bid at $955 million.

RFR Realty’s Aby Rosen is also said to have bid on the building, though he came in lower than Nightingale at $900 million.

Representatives for Shvo, Sutton and Rosen could not be immediately reached.

A Cushman & Wakefield team of Doug Harmon and Adam Spies is negotiating the sale on behalf of the Coca-Cola Company. Their Cushman colleagues Gideon Gil and Rob Rubano are working to secure a debt package for the buyers.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
An example of roll-off waste management (Credit: YouTube, iStock)

Big building owners prevent city from dumping container-pickup in trash-collection reform

“I can talk about erections all day”: NAR tech consultant’s bizarre fireside chat

Council member Vanessa Gibson (Credit: New York City Council)

Commercial landlords face new fines as City Council passes anti-harassment bill

As House begins impeachment inquiry, here’s what we know about Trump’s Ukraine-real estate ties

Embattled Prodigy Network CEO Rodrigo Niño to step down

The Watchtower building at 25 Columbia Heights, CIM Group’s Shaul Kuba (right) and LIVWRK’s Asher Abehsera (Credit: Wikipedia, CIM Group, and LinkedIn)

JPMorgan leads $335M refi for CIM and LIVWRK’s Watchtower renovation

Multifamily market still reigns in Queens, Blackstone balks after rent reforms and more of the biggest CRE trends right now

Real estate titans … and their toys

arrow_forward_ios