Malkins sued again over Empire State Building IPO

Empire State Building and Anthony Malkin (inset)
Empire State Building and Anthony Malkin (inset)

The saga of the Empire State Building’s initial public offering continues. Investors in the Midtown tower filed a new lawsuit alleging that they lost out on up to $400 million due to the decision of the Malkin family, whose company manages the building, to take the building public rather than sell it to private investors.

“At a bare minimum, the Malkins should have, but did not, meaningfully engage with the bidders,” the suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court on Dec. 24, stated. The building and about 18 others officially transferred over to the nascent Empire State Realty Trust for $1.89 billion — a far cry from the $2.2 billion and more that investors such as Joseph Sitt and Rubin Schron had offered for the tower alone, as The Real Deal reported.

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John Rizio-Hamilton, the attorney representing the suing shareholders, told the New York Daily News that the Malkins “rejected those premium offers out of hand so that they could reap well over $100 million of personal benefit that investors in the Empire State Building did not stand to share in.”

A spokesperson for the Empire State Realty Trust told the Daily News that the lawsuit’s claims were “wholly without merit, and we will respond to them in court.”

As of press time, Empire State Realty Trust stock was trading at almost $15.31 per share, up from the roughly $13.00 initial share price. [NYDN]Hiten Samtani