Want to buy a share in the Empire State Building?

New York skylineFancy owning a part of the iconic 102-storey Empire State Building in Manhattan, New York?

Thanks to the decision taken by the New York State Supreme court, the public may soon be able to buy shares in the famous tower - as long as they can spare $323,000 (£207,000).

According to the Daily Telegraph, that's the price per share that the Malkin family, which owns the famed Art Deco skyscraper, wants to sell $1 billion worth of shares in a new company that they are calling Empire State Trust Inc.

The company will include 18 other properties, as well as the Empire State Building, which was completed in 1931 and draws about 4 million tourists every year.

Real estate magnate Peter Malkin and his son Anthony bought the building in 2002 and, after a series of court battles, wrested control of it eight years later.

They believe that the chance to own a part of the well-known building, which has featured in countless films, including King Kong, Sleepless in Seattle and An Affair to Remember, will prove popular with investors.

However, their plan to sell off more shares was almost blocked by a group of investors who already own shares in the Empire State Building.

They have owned shares in the tower since 1961, when the building changed hands and the buyers sold around 3,000 shares at $10,000 per share to help finance the deal.

However, Judge Peter Sherwood this week dismissed their claim that the initial public offering proposed by the Malkins would violate state law.

Hugh Burns, a spokesman for Peter Malkin's company Malkin Holdings, said: "We are pleased by the court's ruling and are proceeding with the intention of closing as soon as we reach the approval threshold."

However, the Malkins still need to convince at least 80% of the current investors that this public offering is the right move.

And that could prove difficult with Bloomberg reporting that opponents of the deal are planning to seek a stay of proceedings.

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