Stakeholders in the private company that owns the Empire State Building have approved a plan to sell the iconic tower as part of an initial public offering, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday.
More than 80% of the roughly 2,800 stakeholders in the building have voted in favor of the deal, the filing said. That sets the stage for one of the largest real-estate IPOs ever.
The proposed new company, Empire State Realty Trust, would combine the 1931 skyscraper with 18 other properties. It aims to raise $1 billion from the offering, which would make it the second-largest IPO for a U.S. real-estate investment trust, according to data provider Dealogic.
Voter approval represents a hard-fought victory for the Malkins, the New York real-estate family that controls the Empire State Building. The family has been feuding for months with dissident stakeholders who opposed the plan.
Critics of the plan said it rewards the Malkins, who stand to get a stake in the new company of about $714 million, at the expense of other current owners. Proponents argued that the plan would make the holding more easy to trade and would diversify owners' investment. Most units in the private company that owns the Empire State Building are valued at about $323,000.
"We are pleased to deliver to our investors a proposal which has received such support," a spokeswoman for the Malkins said in a statement Wednesday. "We look forward to delivering to our investors what we believe to be the many benefits of this transaction."
The IPO would mark the end of a long and colorful era in the building's history. It would also end a byzantine ownership structure that spawned numerous legal disputes and battles for control of the famous property.
Corrections & Amplifications
There are about 2,800 stakeholders in the Empire State Building. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said there were about 3,300.
Some facts about the Empire State Building and its initial public offering
$1 billion: Likely size of the IPO
$2.3 billion: Building's value
$41 million: Cost to build it
1933: Year when King Kong climbed to the top
6,514: Number of windows
10 million: Number of bricks used in construction
—Source: Securities filings and Empire State Building website
Write to Craig Karmin at
A version of this article appeared May 30, 2013, on page C3 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: An IPO to Make a Giant Ape Proud.