By Maneesha Tiwari and Terry Baynes
Feb 21 (Reuters) - A New York court gave preliminary
approval for a $55 million settlement aimed at allowing the
initial public offering of a real estate investment trust that
would include the iconic Empire State Building, Bloomberg
The settlement was reached in September between Malkin
Holdings and a group of investors in Empire State Building
Associates, who had earlier sued to stop the plan, in part
because they objected to the tax treatment they would face.
The agreement, which must receive final court approval, will
let Empire State Realty Trust Inc, which controls the Manhattan
skyscraper, continue its plan to become a real-estate investment
trust and sell shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
"We are very pleased with today's decisions which granted
preliminary approval of the settlement," Malkin Holdings said in
a statement to Bloomberg. "We will continue to move forward with
the vote on the proposed transaction, which we believe is in the
best interests of all investors."
Lawyers representing Malkin Holdings and the investor group
could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside
of regular U.S. business hours.
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