Empire State Building owner raises $929.5 million in IPO

Empire State Building owner raises $929.5 million in IPO

NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
Empire State Building owner raises $929.5 million in IPO

The Empire State Building is seen from the top of The Rock in New York in this April 25, 2012 file photo. The company that owns New York City's Empire State Building skyscraper priced its initial public offering at $13 a share on October 1, 2013, an underwriting source said, a price on the low end of the expected range of $13 to $15 a share. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Files

New York City’s iconic Empire State Building went public on late Wednesday as part of a real estate trust traded for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the landmark skyscraper and 17 other buildings in the New York area, closed 10 cents higher (0.8 percent) at $13.10 after being introduced to the markets at an IPO price of $13 a share. Shares traded as high as $13.49 earlier in the day.

The company sold 71.5 million shares raising $929.5 million. It said it may offer an additional 10.7 million shares in the next 30 days.

The trust trades under the “ESRT” ticker. The Malkin family, which controls the Empire State Building, filed initial papers to take the venture public in February 2012. However, the effort was delayed for several months due to legal wrangling. At 381 meters (1,250 feet) and 102 floors, the Art Deco-style building is one of New York City’s most popular tourist destinations and the city’s second tallest building since the May 2013 opening of One World Trade Center, which reaches 541 meters.

It was the world’s tallest building from its opening in 1931 until 1974, when the 442-meter Sears Tower was completed in Chicago.