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Fight Over Empire State Building Ownership Heads to Court

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The Malkin family?which controls the Empire State Building?first floated a plan to take the 102-story icon public with the creation of a real estate investment trust in 2011. But they've run into a few roadblocks in the form of some of the building's current stakeholders, who think going public will lower the value of their shares and benefit only the Malkin clan. The case heads to court today, the Times explains, and the court will have decide whether the Malkin plan is valid and whether a legal challenge to it is allowed.

What makes this case particularly interesting, aside from the building's fame, is that the Malkins need to persuade at least 80 percent of the stakeholders to support the plan, and there are about 3,000 individual stakeholders. The Malkins have gotten about 75 percent of the stakeholders on board with the plan, but some of them?like a retired steel salesman who owns a single share?have already changed their votes multiple times. If the building goes public, the Malkins hope to raise around $1 billion, which they would use to buy out the Helmsley estate's stake in the building (to avoid an outside buyer) and repay investors.
· Empire State Building Feud Nears Crucial Ruling [NYT]
· Pieces of the Empire State Building Might Be Up for Grabs [Curbed]
· Empire State Building coverage [Curbed]