initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Friday, September 27, 2013

Violin Memory (VMEM) began trading on the NYSE on 27 Sept 2013

Mountain View, Calif-based manufacturer of flash memory arrays debuted on the NYSE today.


Executives and guests of Violin Memory, Inc. visit the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the company's IPO on September 27, 2013 in New York City.



Shares of solid-state storage vendor Violin Memory plunged more than 17 percent on the company's first day of trading Friday, but analysts said the market for flash storage remains hot.

Violin raised just over $160 million in an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange, which the company will use primarily to expand its global sales and marketing capabilities. But the shares, which the company had priced at $9 per share, started trading far below that and closed at $7.11, down $1.89, or 21 percent. The weak result came on a gloomy day overall, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq both down.

The market's lukewarm response to Violin's IPO doesn't spell gloom for flash storage, which is still a young and fast-growing technology, industry analysts said. Enterprises are buying flash to speed up access to their data, and the price premium for the solid-state media versus spinning disks is shrinking.

RingCentral (RNG) began trading on the NYSE on 27 Sept 2013

San Mateo, Calif.-based RingCentral, a leading cloud business communications provider, completed its IPO. RingCentral began trading on the NYSE today under the ticker symbol “RNG.” To celebrate, Chairman and CEO Vlad Shmunis rang The Opening Bell.







Thursday, September 26, 2013

2013 the best year for IPOs since 2007?



There have been 143 companies selling shares to the public for the first time this year, says Renaissance Capital. That's up 47% from the 97 IPOs during the same period last year.

It's an encouraging sign to see this level of IPO activity. The number of IPOs this year so far already tops the 128 and 125 in all of 2012 and 2011, respectively. And it's not hard to imagine that this year will top the 154 IPOs in all of 2010. If that happens, 2013 could be the best year for IPOs since 2007.

Interestingly, too, the industry that's been leading the IPO charge has been health care. It's a bit of a unexpected development, since many investors had been negative on health care coming into the year due to health care reform. Following the 36 health care deals in the past 12 months is the financial industry, with 31 deals.

Meanwhile, the pipeline for IPOs is looking relatively healthy. This year, nearly 190 companies have filed their plans for IPOs, up from the 141 that filed in all of 2012. Meanwhile, investors are still awaiting the much-anticipated tech IPO of Twitter.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Alibaba, Chinese Internet Giant, Plans to Issue IPO in New York

SAN FRANCISCO -- Alibaba Group is planning an initial public offering in the U.S., rather than Hong Kong, after the operator of the world's largest e-commerce marketplace disagreed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange over how the business will be run, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Alibaba, part owned by Yahoo, has been working on an IPO in Hong Kong for many months but the company has proposed a partnership structure of 28 founders and executives who will run the business when it is public.

That approach bumped up against corporate governance rules of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which aim to give investors control over companies based on how many shares they own and limit so-called dual share-class structures.


Talks between Alibaba and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange have broken off and the company has hired attorneys to help it pursue an IPO in the U.S., the person said, on condition of anonymity. The person did not want to be identified because Alibaba's plans are not public.

Alibaba's IPO may rival Facebook's in size and importance, valuing the Chinese e-commerce company at more than $100 billion. An IPO in the U.S. would be an important win for U.S. exchanges, bankers and lawyers involved in the process — although for most large investors where the company is listed makes little difference.

Alibaba's goal is to bring its partnership approach to corporate governance to the U.S., hoping to raise money from outside investors while giving founders and executives enough control to run the business for the long-term.

"It's all about accountability and the ability of public stockholders to have a say versus the founders not wanting to cede control," said Tom Murphy, a securities and capital markets partner at law firm McDermott, Will & Emery. "How much is about long-term projects as opposed to just wanting to know you can stay in charge probably depends on who you ask."

Facebook and Google, two of the most successful technology companies in the U.S., have dual, or multiple share-class structures that give founders and management more voting power than other shareholders.

Alibaba is not planning to use a dual share-class structure, however in U.S. capital markets the company could provide similar control for founders and executives through its partnership model, according to Murphy.

"In the U.S. they can also have the 28 people agree to vote their stock together which also makes it even easier for that group to maintain control at a lower level of stock ownership," Murphy explained.

Charles Li, head of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, weighed in on the debate in a blog Wednesday.

"We need to look objectively at the issues and not be swayed by emotional arguments or be distracted by specific circumstances of any given company or issue," Li wrote. "In the end, we should take responsibility for doing what is right and best for Hong Kong, not just what is safe and easy."

While the Hong Kong Stock Exchange would benefit financially from an Alibaba listing in Hong Kong, Li said the "public interest" is a more important consideration.

Lone Pine shares worthless under deal

CALGARY — Long-suffering shareholders of debt-laden junior gas producer Lone Pine Resources Inc. will be left with nothing under a deal struck with its noteholders to trade debt for stock.
The agreement announced Wednesday, which requires court approval, would result in shareholders having their stock cancelled without compensation while holders of the Calgary company’s debt instruments will wind up in full control.

“For the corporation, this could be viewed as quite positive, anytime you eliminate close to $300 million of aggregate debt,” said Tim Granger, president and chief executive of Lone Pine, in an interview.
“The noteholders are converting $195 million of their notes to equity and then backstopping a $100-million equity infusion. The struggle for the company was its lack of liquidity because of its debt burden and this eliminates that.”

Lone Pine was valued at $13 per share in an initial public offering in May 2011 when it was spun out from Denver-based Forest Oil Corp.

When the final distribution of 70 million shares was made to Forest shareholders on Sept. 30, 2011, the stock closed at $6.95, giving the company a market capitalization of about $600 million for its 85 million shares.

It has lately been fetching around four cents per share in thin trading. Its 52-week high was $1.78 set last October.

Granger said Wednesday’s deal, made with three large holders of about 75 per cent of its notes after the company missed $10-million interest payments in August and September, is good for employees, who will keep their jobs.

He agreed it’s not good for shareholders.
“That’s the unfortunate aspect out of this transaction,” he said. “The company needed to raise a significant amount of money — since last May when I came here, I’ve been back and forth to Toronto to raise capital — and capital is not being offered.”

Lone Pine was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange last week for failing to meet minimum market capitalization of $75 million and a minimum closing price of $1 US.

TMX Group, owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange, had started a 30-day review of the company’s listing privileges on Sept. 17 but it announced Wednesday it would go to an expedited review and suspend the shares immediately.

Lone Pine relieved CEO David Anderson of duty in February and hired Granger in April.
The company reported average production for the second quarter of 2013 ended June 30 of 47 million cubic feet of gas equivalent per day, off five per cent from the first quarter. Liquids production was 2,600 barrels per day, down 10 per cent.

Lone Pine volumes have declined because it hasn’t been investing to replace production. Its adjusted second quarter net loss was about $12 million.

Analyst Jeremy McCrea of Alta Corp. Capital, which is dropping coverage of the company, said he’s not surprised by Wednesday’s announcement.

“It was missteps by management, a higher leverage position to start off with and average to poor economics in their asset portfolio,” he said.

Granger agreed Lone Pine’s debt was too high but he said its failure was mainly due to crashing prices for natural gas.

“It was spun out to develop its great natural gas assets up in the Deep Basin,” he said. “It drilled a few wells but with the demise of natural gas pricing, switched to oil and started to drill at Evi. But it couldn’t transition fast enough.”

The restructuring is being implemented through the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and in the U.S. via the United States Bankruptcy Court.
If approved, Lone Pine will initially carry on business as a private company, Granger said, with the noteholders as shareholders of common and convertible preferred shares. He said he hopes the company can start drilling again this winter.

Lone Pine must also obtain a new secured credit facility under the agreement.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Potbelly prices IPO at $9 to $11 a share

(Reuters) — Sandwich chain Potbelly Corp. expects its initial public offering to be priced at between $9 and $11 per share, raising as much as $82.5 million.
  • 10/2/13 update:  The Chicago-based sandwich chain raised its initial public offering range to $12 to $13, according to a document filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  • Trading on Nasdaq under the ticker PBPB is expected to start Oct. 4
Potbelly, which operates 280 shops across the United States, will have a market valuation of $280 million at the mid-point of its expected price range.

The company is selling most of the 7.5 million shares in the IPO.

The company said it's selling just under 7.4 million shares and selling stockholders are selling about 138,000 shares. The company won't receive any proceeds from the selling stockholder sales.


The chain operates in the "fast casual" niche popularized by chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG), Panera Bread Co. (PNRA) and newly public Noodles & Co. (NDLS). Those chains are a step up from traditional fast food, but don't require the time or money that waiter-service restaurants demand.

As of June 30, Potbelly operated 286 shops in 18 states and the District of Columbia, the bulk of which are company owned. Potbelly also has 12 franchised locations in the Middle East.

Revenue in the latest fiscal year totaled $274.9 million, up nearly 16% from the prior year. Profit jumped to $24 million from $7.2 million.

Most of the proceeds from the IPO are intended to pay a cash dividend to executive officers, directors and other insiders.

Potbelly began in 1977 as a small antique store in Chicago. To boost sales, the original owner started offering sandwiches and desserts to customers. That owner sold the store in 1996, and a second shop was opened a year later. The chain reached 100 shops in 2005.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

FireEye (FEYE) began trading on the NASDAQ on 20 September 2013


(Reuters) - The shares of cybersecurity company FireEye leapt 80 percent in their trading debut on Friday in a sign of how red hot cybersecurity is on Wall Street at the moment, and even inspired at least one peer to accelerate plans to go public.

FireEye, whose debut ranks as the sixth biggest first-day close in the United States this year, is the latest in a string of successful public offerings from technology companies.

"This is good for everybody in security," George Kurtz, CEO of cybersecurity startup CrowdStrike, said of the FireEye IPO. "It shows that there are a lot of legs in the security market going forward as the security market emerges."




Companies are pursuing public offerings as stock markets rise, the result of an easy monetary policy and a gradually recuperating U.S. economy. This week, the U.S. Federal Reserve took a surprise decision to maintain the monthly $85 billion bond purchase program that has kept rates low and boosted investor appetite for risk, a boon for equity markets.

FireEye and ad technology company Rocket Fuel Inc, which also went public on Friday and whose shares have nearly doubled in value, are helping to set the stage for other high profile technology offerings later this year and in 2014. These include Twitter, Box and Dropbox.

Analysts say cybersecurity companies in particular are in high demand because of the scarcity of public corporations in that market and the growing threat of online crime worldwide.

Businesses, increasingly frustrated as they discover computer viruses in their networks, are looking to FireEye and others to provide technologies to augment anti-virus software.

"Security is hot. This will open the door for more companies to do this," said Kim Forrest of Fort Pitt Capital Group.

Jay Chaudhry, chief executive of cybersecurity company Zscaler, told Reuters that plans for its IPO have been pushed ahead six to nine months following the success of FireEye's IPO.

"The window is open," he added.

Others are more patient. Andre Durand, CEO of Ping Identity, said the hot reaction to FireEye will not affect the timing of his firm's IPO, which is expected next year or in 2015.

FireEye soared to $44.89 at one point on Friday, more than doubling its $20 IPO price. It fell back in later trading and closed at $36 for an 80 percent gain. That was enough to accord it the sixth best debut of 2013, behind companies such as Sprouts Farmers Market Inc and Noodles & Co, the two best performers so far this year.

'ZERO DAYS'

FireEye uses cloud-based technologies to help businesses fight off computer viruses that evade old-school anti-virus software made by companies such as Symantec Corp and Intel Corp's McAfee security division.

It says that it is responsible for uncovering about 80 percent of all "zero-day" attacks, so-called because the attack occurs when the vulnerability is discovered, which means developers have had no time to address the threat.

FireEye has yet to post a profitable quarter since it was founded in 2004. It spent more on sales and marketing in the first six months of its current fiscal year than it generated in revenue, contributing to a $63 million operating loss for the period.

At one point late in the day, 451 Group analyst Brenon Daly valued the company at more than $4.37 billion, or a lofty 32 times this year's projected revenue of $150 million. That gives it a much richer value than other cybersecurity firms that have gone public in the past few years.

Palo Alto Networks Inc, which went public in July 2012, trades at 8.5 times annual revenue and Imperva Inc trades at about 11 times revenue on the NYSE, Daly said.

However, its valuation might raise some eyebrows among investors who still recall the dotcom bubble, when unprofitable companies launched with outsized growth expectations.

'FAIRLY VALUED'

FireEye sold about 15.2 million shares at $20 each, above its proposed price range, raising about $304 million from the offering. All the shares in the IPO were sold by the company.

FireEye CEO Dave DeWalt, the former head of McAfee who sold that company to Intel, said in an interview that he thought FireEye was "fairly valued" and that he intentionally boosted spending, racking up losses, to build up an infrastructure to support future growth.

"We have a heck of an opportunity," he said.

He estimated operating margins of 20 percent to 25 percent within four to six years from now.

Some investors, such as Tim Ghriskey, said they understood the appeal, but that it was too risky.

"The valuation (of FireEye) is astronomical, but so is the revenue growth rate," said Ghriskey, chief investment officer with Solaris Asset Management, who did not add any FireEye shares to the $1.5 billion he helps manage.

Rocket Fuel (FUEL) began trading on the NASDAQ on 20 September 2013


(Reuters) - Shares of advertisement technology company Rocket Fuel Inc nearly doubled in their debut as investors flocked to grab a piece of the company that has shown impressive revenue growth.

The company, which helps customers place their ads on websites and mobile networks, sold 4 million shares at the top end of its price range of $27-$29 per share, raising $116 million.

Shares of the company closed at $56.10 on the Nasdaq on Friday after touching a high of $62.50, valuing the company at $2.03 billion.

About 5.56 million shares changed hands during the session, making them one of the most heavily traded stocks on the Nasdaq.

Many smaller ad tech companies are trying to grab market share from Google Inc, whose slice of the business is expected to climb to 20.7 percent next year from 17.6 percent this year, according to eMarketer.

The sector, however, is characterized by hundreds of different companies and it is often difficult to distinguish how one ad tech company's algorithms are better than the next, analysts and bankers say.

"Rocket Fuel is in a hot area combining artificial intelligence and Big Data-driven predictive modeling," said Jay Ritter, an IPO expert at the University of Florida.

Investors feel that Rocket Fuel has a winning technology and are optimistic that the company will be able to grow and become profitable, he said.

Redwood City, California-based Rocket Fuel's revenue has grown dramatically since its inception in 2008, rising nearly six-fold to $106.6 million in 2012 from $16.5 million in 2010.

Net loss, however, widened to $10.34 million for the year ended December 2012, from $4.32 million a year earlier.

The company had 784 active customers, including 65 of the top 100 national advertisers and over 40 Fortune 100 companies as of June 30, its filing showed.

Rocket Fuel is backed by investors including Mohr Davidow Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, Northgate Capital and Summit Partners.

Shares of cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc closed up 80 percent in their debut as investors rushed to buy shares in the company that helps businesses fend off hackers.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Jones Energy (JONE) 1 month after IPO


Jones Energy, Inc. is an independent oil and gas company engaged in the development, production and acquisition of oil and natural gas properties in the Anadarko and Arkoma basins of Texas and Oklahoma. The Company’s operations focuses on horizontal drilling and completions within two distinct basins in the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma: the Anadarko Basin, which targets the liquids-rich Cleveland, Granite Wash, Tonkawa and Marmaton formations, and the Arkoma Basin, which targets the liquids-rich fairway of the Woodford shale formation. In December 2012, it acquired approximately 20,600 net acres in the Anadarko basin, including 36 gross productive wells, in or proximate to its existing areas of operation in the Cleveland and Tonkawa formations, from a group of sellers, including Chalker Energy Partners III, LLC, an exploration and production company.

Address

Suite 350, 807 Las Cimas Parkw
AUSTIN, TX 78746
United States

Website links 

www.jonesenergy.com
Key stats and ratios
Q2 (Jun '13)2012
Net profit margin75.40%-1.67%
Operating margin31.38%3.23%
EBITD margin-69.67%
Return on average assets16.38%-0.25%
Return on average equity232.00%-2.99%
Employees73

Cvent (CVT) 1 month after IPO


YuMe (YUME) 1 month after IPO


Marrone Bio Innovations (MBII) - profile



Sector: Basic Materials > Industry: Agricultural Chemicals - NEC

Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. is a provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products. Bio-based products are consists of naturally occurring microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, and plant extracts. As of August 1, 2013, the Company’s three commercialized product lines target two core end markets: crop protection and water treatment. Crop protection products consist of herbicides, fungicides, nematicides, insecticides and plant growth regulators that growers use to increase crop yields, improve plant health, manage pest resistance and reduce chemical residues. The Company’s products can be used in both conventional and organic crop production. The Company sells two crop protection product lines, Regalia, for plant disease control and plant health, and Grandevo, for insect and mite control, to growers of specialty crops, such as grapes, citrus, tomatoes, vegetables, nuts, leafy greens and ornamental plants.


Address

Suite A-107, 2121 Second St.
DAVIS, CA 95618
United States
Key stats and ratios
Q1 (Mar '13)2012
Net profit margin-393.74%-543.33%
Operating margin-190.29%-333.87%
EBITD margin--325.28%
Return on average assets-167.05%-177.97%
Return on average equity--
Employees107

Aratana Therapeutics (PETX)


Sector: Healthcare > Industry: Veterinary Drugs

Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. is a development-stage biopharmaceutical company. As of March 20, 2013, the Company has three licensed compounds in development for six product approvals in cats and dogs in each of the United States and Europe. The Company is developing several compounds for the pet health market, including a non-COXIB analgesic for treating pain, an appetite-stimulating molecule for inappetence, and licensed non-opioid local anesthetic for treating post-operative pain. The company is actively identifying additional programs to in-license from human health companies in order to expand its development pipeline of animal medicines.


Address

1901 Olathe Blvd
KANSAS CITY, KS 66103
United States 

Website links 

http://www.aratana.com

Key stats and ratios

Q1 (Mar '13)2012
Net profit margin--
Operating margin--
EBITD margin--
Return on average assets--68.86%
Return on average equity--
Employees16

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Twitter says it filed confidential IPO registration with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission


  • Twitter to list on the NYSE on November 15, 2013


(Reuters) - Twitter Inc has filed for an initial public offering with U.S. regulators, the company said on Thursday, taking the first step toward what would be Silicon Valley's most anticipated debut since Facebook Inc's last year.

The impending IPO of the microblogging phenomenon ignited a competition among Wall Street's biggest names for the prestige of managing its coming-out party. Goldman Sachs is lead underwriter, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday, which is a major coup for the Wall Street bank.

Twitter filed for an IPO confidentially under a 2012 law intended to help emerging corporations with less than $1 billion in revenue go public.


Its debut, though much smaller than Facebook's, could generate tens of millions of dollars in fees from the underwriting mandate itself. Assuming it sells around 10 percent of its shares, or $1 billion, underwriters could stand to divide a fee pool of $40 million to $50 million, assuming an overall fee cut of 4 percent to 5 percent, according to Freeman & Co.

But the benefits for banks that underwrite the deal would likely be far-reaching.

"Some companies will say, ‘We liked the way you handled Twitter, and we want to come to you first when we do our IPO,'" said David Menlow, president of IPOFinancial.com.

"It's not only bragging rights," Menlow said. "It's getting through the front door, which will line up banks for other transactions done after that, like debt financings and M&A."

Technology bankers at major banks from JPMorgan and Credit Suisse Group AG to Morgan Stanley had vied for coveted lead underwriting roles in the IPO. Several have had informal conversations with the micro-blogging network's management, sources familiar with the matter said.

A similar race is on around China's Alibaba, which is expected to raise more than $15 billion this year. Bank chief executives such as JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon and Citigroup Inc's Michael Corbat have made it a point to meet Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

PHENOM

Seven-year old Twitter, which allows users to send out streams of 140-character messages, has become an indispensable tool to governments, corporations and celebrities seeking to communicate with their audience, and for individuals seeking both news and entertainment.

Twitter, which has been valued by private investors at more than $10 billion, is on track to post $583 million in revenue in 2013, according to advertising consultancy eMarketer.

Max Wolff of Greencrest Capital estimated that Twitter would reach break-even this year, and that it is on track for 40 percent annual growth at a $1 billion annual revenue run rate.

"It's completely conquered mobile. It has an enormous social network. It's becoming a key utility as a second screen to TV and it's literally the first draft of history," Wolff said. "Normally a company like Twitter would have been public for some time."

Twitter is allowed to file its registration statement confidentially due to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, a 2012 law that loosened some of the regulations surrounding the IPO process and other forms of capital raising.

Companies that file under that law do not have to reveal certain details until 21 days before embarking on an investor roadshow.

It could allow Twitter to avoid some of the harsh public scrutiny that other tech companies such as Groupon Inc faced. Groupon in 2011 was plagued by questions about its reliance on what some considered to be unusual accounting practices.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Software company Veeva files for IPO of up to $150 million

(Reuters) - Life sciences-focused software company Veeva Systems Inc filed with U.S. regulators to raise up to $150 million in an initial public offering of its common stock.

Veeva, which competes with Oracle Corp, provides web-based software for pharmaceutical representatives that allows them to track drug information and to provide documentation and data to their sales forces.

The company's clients include some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world such as Novartis AG, Merck & Co Inc, Eli Lilly and Co and Bayer AG.

Reuters reported in April that Pleasanton, California-based Veeva was planning an IPO that could come in the third quarter.

Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank Securities are the lead underwriters for the IPO, Veeva told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a preliminary prospectus on Wednesday.

The filing did not reveal how many shares the company planned to sell or their expected price. (http://link.reuters.com/rym92v)

Veeva, which intends to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "VEEV," said that net proceeds from the offering would be used for working capital purposes.

The company, which received $4 million in funding from venture capital firm Emergence Capital Partners LP in 2008, reported a profit of $599,000 on revenue of $61.2 million in 2012.

Emergence Capital is Veeva's largest shareholder with a more than 30 percent stake.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

Gogo (GOGO) 2 months after IPO

Gogo Inc., GOGO +4.53% the largest provider of inflight Internet in the U.S., on Wednesday plans to unveil a system that uses a combination of satellites and cellular towers, connecting airplanes to the Web at speeds six times as fast as its current best option.


Virgin America Inc. will launch Gogo's new inflight Wi-Fi service in the second half of 2014 and says it expects to eventually upgrade its 53 aircraft with the product.

That comes after JetBlue Airways Corp. JBLU -1.74% received government approval last week to install a new high-capacity satellite link on many of its aircraft, an inflight Wi-Fi solution that can support streaming video to fliers' devices from Netflix Inc. NFLX -0.38% and Hulu, among others.

JetBlue, which has lacked inflight Internet, plans to launch the service on some aircraft this year and equip its entire fleet of 180 aircraft by the end of 2015.

Gogo sets the prices for its onboard Wi-Fi, with options including $14 one-day passes and $50 monthly passes.

JetBlue said it is reviewing pricing for the service, but that basic Internet use initially will be free, while the airline will charge fliers for streaming content, which uses more bandwidth. Other airlines that provide Wi-Fi currently block access to streaming services like Netflix, to avoid cannibalizing their own fee-based inflight entertainment.

The new technologies could mean Internet speeds in the air that are at least as fast as the average Internet speeds for Americans on the ground—something that could help break down flier resistance to paying and make the service profitable.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Empire State Building owners to pursue IPO plan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Malkin Holdings LLC said on Friday it planned to pursue a public listing for the Empire State Building after reviewing several bids to buy control of the landmark New York skyscraper.


In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the holding company said it had "received indications of interest to purchase the fee and/or operating lease positions of the Empire State Building, as well as one indication of interest to purchase the fee and operating lease positions of One Grand Central Place".

But after a review, the company decided it was in the best interest of investors to proceed with the consolidation and initial public offering.

The building and its investors are managed by Malkin Holdings, which spearheaded a plan to roll the skyscraper, once the world's tallest building, into a real estate investment trust, called Empire State Realty Trust Inc, containing more than 18 properties.

Malkin Holdings was advised by Lazard Freres & Co LLC.

A spokesman for Malkin declined to comment beyond the filing.

Opened in 1931 during the Great Depression, the Empire State Building is one of New York's leading tourist attractions - known for its Art Deco tower and its colored light display at night.