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Empire State Building investors cool to MacKenzie Capital offer

A full moon rises behind the Empire State Building and the skyline of New York, as people watch from a park along the Hudson River in Hoboke
A full moon rises behind the Empire State Building and the skyline of New York, as people watch from a park along the Hudson River in Hoboke

By Ilaina Jonas

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An offer by MacKenzie Capital Management LLC to buy 170 units from the owners of the Empire State Building has largely fizzled, according to regulatory documents filed on Tuesday.

MacKenzie made the offer of $110,000 per unit to investors in Empire State Building Associates LLC in December. By the February 8 deadline, MacKenzie had acquired only 13.83 units, according to the filing. There are 3,300 units in total.

The offer came as Malkin Holdings LLC, which manages the building and its investors, continued trying to persuade them to back its plan to make the skyscraper the centerpiece in a publicly traded real estate investment trust. The proposed REIT, to be called Empire State Realty Trust Inc , would contain more than 18 other properties, with most located in Manhattan. MacKenzie has said it would cast its votes in favor of the REIT proposal.

The plan requires the approval of holders of at least 80 percent of each of three groups owning 1,100 units. Malkin Holdings has estimated that in an initial public offering, each unit would be worth about $324,000, according to SEC filings. Those units originally sold in 1961 to small investors for $10,000.

MacKenzie, based in Moraga, California, offered to buy the units on behalf of funds it manages. The company specializes in buying illiquid real estate-backed securities, such as non-traded REIT shares, limited partnership units and private real estate notes.

(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas, editing by Prudence Crowther)

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