The Empire State Building is up for sale, and you could be one of its proud owners. Sound like a Nigeria-based email scam? Well I'm here to tell you that it's not -- though that also sounds like something a Nigeria-based email scam might say...
Earlier this week, the real estate investment trust that owns the iconic skyscraper, Empire State Realty Trust, filed the necessary paperwork to go public in a stock offering that could raise upward of $1 billion. And to sweeten the pot, the planned IPO comes only a decade after the company's predecessor purchased the property from none other than Donald "You're Fired!" Trump. Yep, that's right. Here's your long-awaited chance to grab hold of the real estate magnate's magic. All you'll need now is a toupee, a snazzy catchphrase, and a wife with a Russian accent.
While this sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it turns out that other marquee buildings are also owned by publicly traded companies. For example, the Boston-based commercial REIT Boston Properties (NYS: BXP) owns both the General Motors Building in New York and the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco's financial district. Though, let's be honest, neither of these bestows the imprimatur associated with owning one of the Trumpster's previous digs.
In all seriousness, however, the move will give Empire State Realty regular access to capital via the public equity markets. The significance of this for the company's future growth can't be overstated. For instance, well-known mortgage REIT Annaly Capital (NYS: NLY) has used its access to increase its book value by more than $14 billion in the last five years alone. Not to mention, the filing will also give investors another dividend-paying option, as the preferential tax treatment of REITs obligates them to distribute at least 90% of the earnings each year to shareholders.
At the end of the day, of course, your decision to buy a stake in the Empire State Building should probably be guided more by the fundamentals of its present owner rather than the glamorous exploits of owners past -- difficult as that may or may not be. In the meantime, I urge you to check out a free report that we recently released. Among other things, it identifies a little known financial company that Warren Buffett would have likely bought in his younger years. To access this report instantly and learn the identity of this company before the rest of the market catches on, click here now -- it's absolutely free.
At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor John Maxfield does not have a financial stake in any of the companies mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Annaly Capital. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Annaly Capital and General Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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