Joe Sitt Offers $1.4 B. for Empire State Building Title, Master Lease


Following Anthony Malkin and Malkin Holdings’ rejection of a slew of bids to buy the Empire State Building, Joe Sitt of Thor Equities has made another bid – but this time to purchase the title and master lease on the building.

Screen shot 2013-09-10 at 10.08.23 AMA letter sent yesterday by attorney Stephen Meister, who represents a group of investors opposed to a plan to create a REIT that includes the Empire State Building as an asset, states that the $1.4 billion offer is viable because it is “materially greater” than the appraised value of the assets (1.18 billion).

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“My clients urge Malkin Holdings to give earnest and serious consideration to Thor’s offer, as they feel their fiduciary duties compel under the circumstances,” the letter states.

The goal is to compel investors in Empire State Building Associates to take the offer to a vote, but the Malkins would still have to participate in any such event, showing that the Meisters and investors opposed to the REIT haven’t lost hope in the Malkins.

“We’re still aggressively pursuing this opportunity,” said Jason Meister, a vice president at Avison Young, and son of Stephen, who represented Mr. Sitt in the bid.

On Friday, Malkin Holdings filed a letter with the Securities and Exchange Commission stating that the company, which manages the building, plans to move ahead with plans for the public REIT, despite a string of previous offers to buy the building outright (Mr. Sitt’s original bid was just north of $2.1 billion).

“After review of indications of interest received with respect to purchase of the fee and/or operating lease positions of the Empire State Building and One Grand Central Place (60 East 42nd Street), [we] will proceed with the consolidation and IPO approved by a supermajority of the company’s participants,” the letter stated.

Mr. Malkin was not immediately available for comment regarding the latest offer.