Malkin Holdings’ Empire State Building Associates has been pursuing the REIT conversion process for its signature holdings including the Empire State Building even as a handful of private-side, billion-dollar bidders have emerged to snag the iconic tower before it could be sold off in the public markets through a REIT offering.
Marc Holliday, CEO of SL Green Realty Corp., has been one of those watching the REIT-conversion process play out.
“No different for us or anybody else, when you expose your assets to the markets, you're going to get a lot of interest from the private market as well,” Holliday said. “I think there generally is a perception that the private market valuation for that portfolio exceeds what would likely be the public market valuation. That's my opinion only.”
But it's an educated opinion since Holliday himself has looked at the property as a potential target.
“I'd say the private market valuation is probably somewhere between exceeds or well exceeds the public market valuation. But we'll just have to wait and see how that deal moves along, where the ultimate IPO valuations come out and what kind of disparities exist,” he said. “In a market this efficient, there's somebody out there that's going to be looking at public versus private (valuations). And if there's a feeling that there is a disparity there, then there will be activity, and you've seen that activity. People have sent in what I assume are unsolicited offers, and you'll probably see more of them.”