By Ilaina Jonas
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A plan to roll the Empire State Building into a real estate investment trust is a whisker away from obtaining the necessary investor approval for a stock offering allowing the public to own a piece of the iconic skyscraper, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday.
Investors holding 99.3 percent of the Empire State Building units needed to approve the plan for an initial public offering have voted for it, according to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The plan calls for the building to be the centerpiece of more than 18 properties in Empire State Realty Trust Inc.
The latest update on the vote comes in the wake of a court decision upholding a provision that would force a unitholder to vote for the deal or sell back the unit for $100 once investors holding 80 percent of the units vote for the plan. That would enable the 100 percent backing needed under the original 1961 agreement.
So far votes representing 79.6 percent of the units in the Empire State Building have been in favor of the plan.
Two other buildings require similar unitholder approval to be included in the REIT. As of Wednesday, investors in 250 East 57 St. have approved the plan, according to the filing.
The REIT so far has received the 98.8 percent of the votes needed for 60 East 42nd Street, also known as One Grand Central Place, to be included.
(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)