The Real Deal National

Nightingale’s $900M deal for the Coca-Cola building fizzles

Buyer sues soft drink giant over 711 Fifth Ave deal
By Rich Bockmann | June 28, 2019 06:54PM

711 5th Avenue (Credit: 42 Floors)

711 5th Avenue (Credit: 42 Floors)

It appears as though Nightingale Properties’ deal to buy the Coca-Cola building on Fifth Avenue has gone flat.

Nightingale filed a lawsuit Friday in Manhattan State Supreme Court alleging Coca-Cola is in breach of the sales agreement the two parties struck in May to sell the building at 711 Fifth Avenue.

Details of the allegations are scant, but Nightingale claims Coca-Cola failed to disclose a letter from 2017 between the soft drink giant and Swatch Group, the parent company of Swiss luxury watchmaker Breguet.

Swatch Group leases one of the pricey retail spaces at the base of the building, where Breguet had a shop before relocating to a retail space at the St. Regis Hotel. Part of Nightingale’s plan to purchase the property hinges on negotiating a deal to have Swatch buy out the remaining term on its lease, as The Real Deal previously reported.

Representatives for Nightingale could not be immediately reached for comment, and a spokesperson for Coca-Cola declined to comment.

Nightingale says in its complaint that it is ready and willing to close on the deal.

But there’s been much speculation about whether Nightingale can line up the funds to close the purchase. And when a deal goes sideways, buyers will sometimes claim the owner failed to disclose some arcane piece of information about a property in order to twist an arm in negotiations.

Nightingale has teamed up with Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. and Wafra (a subsidiary of a Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund) to try to buy the building for north of $900 million.

Cushman & Wakfield’s Doug Harmon and Adam Spies are marketing the property on behalf of Coca-Cola. They could not immediately be reached for comment.