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Blackstone Said to Seek Buyer for Manhattan Tower Stake

Blackstone Group LP (BX) plans to sell its 49.9 percent stake in 1411 Broadway, a tower in Manhattan’s garment district, and has given co-owner Swig Co. a July deadline to help it find a buyer, said three people with knowledge of the situation.

The 40-story is building is valued at $725 million to $750 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The owners reached agreement earlier this year that if San Francisco-based Swig didn’t purchase Blackstone’s stake or another buyer couldn’t be found, the New York-based private-equity firm would have the right to put the whole building up for sale, said one of people.

Bids for Blackstone’s stake are due in early June, said two of the people. Eastdil Secured LLC, a unit of Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), is brokering the sale process.

Blackstone has had its stake in 1411 Broadway since it partnered with the company now known as Brookfield Office Properties Inc. (BPO) to buy Trizec Properties Inc. in 2006, and has managed the 1.2 million-square-foot (111,000-square-meter) building since. Blackstone increased the number of tenants from outside the garment industry and boosted rents, said one of the people familiar with the building.

Peter Rose, a spokesman for Blackstone, and Andrew Neilly, a spokesman for Swig Co., both declined to comment.

Blackstone’s plans for the building were reported earlier today by Crain’s New York Business.

The property occupies a full city block between Seventh Avenue and Broadway, and West 39th and 40th streets. Benjamin Swig, founder of closely held Swig Co., developed the building with Jack Weiler, and Swig Co. has held a stake in it since it was built in 1970. Trizec bought Weiler’s stake in the mid-1990s.

Clothing company Jones Group Inc. (JNY), the tower’s largest tenant, leases about 40 percent of the property, which is 90 percent occupied, said two of the people.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hui-yong Yu in Seattle at hyu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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