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Thor Equities Joins List of Empire State Building Bidders

Thor Equities LLC, the real estate investment firm led by Joseph Sitt, offered to buy Manhattan’s Empire State Building for more than $2.1 billion.

Thor is making an all-cash bid, according to Jason Meister, a vice president at brokerage Avison Young. Last week, Meister also submitted a $2 billion offer on behalf of Rubin Schron.

There are now three known unsolicited offers for the landmark skyscraper, which supervisor Malkin Holdings LLC has made the centerpiece of a proposed real estate investment trust to be known as Empire State Realty Trust. Malkin Holdings Chairman Peter Malkin and his son Anthony, the company’s president, received the necessary 80 percent approval from investors last month to proceed with an initial public offering for the REIT.

“This is a real offer from a real player,” Meister said in a telephone interview today. “Thor Equities is a major landlord here in New York, as well as abroad.”

The offers come at a time when REIT shares have been hurt by the prospect of rising interest rates. The Malkins acknowledged in a regulatory filing yesterday that they’d received two bids, one for $2 billion and the other for $2.1 billion.

The latter offer is from a Middle Eastern group that also includes New York real estate investors Philip Pilevsky and Joseph Tabak, Pilevsky said yesterday. He declined to identify his overseas partners.

The Malkins said in the filing -- a letter to more than 2,800 investors -- that they would consider the offers “consistent with our fiduciary duties,” and wouldn’t comment further on the bids until the review is complete.

Hugh Burns, a Malkin spokesman, and Stefan Friedman, a spokesman for Sitt, both declined to comment on the newest offer for the Empire State Building.

To contact the reporter on this story: David M. Levitt in New York at dlevitt@bloomberg.net

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

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