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Kaufman acquires 40 West 25th Street

40 West 25th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Kaufman Organization and AXA Financial have secured a $76 million loan from MetLife to close on its $121.5 million acquisition of 40 West 25th Street, according to CO. The 12-story, Flatiron office building spans 135,00 square feet, and was previously owned by Unizo Holdings.

Backdrop: With this deal, Unizo is finalizing the divestment of its Manhattan office portfolio. It began as part of a strategy to fend off a hostile takeover bid from Japanese travel agent H.I.S. in July. Here’s a recap:

  • Sold 440 Ninth Avenue (411,000 SF) to Taconic + TH Real Estate for $269 million after paying $211.5 million in 2013.
  • Sold 321 West 44th Street (220,000 SF) to Related for $152.5 million after paying $140.5 million in 2015. 
  • Sold 370 Lexington Avenue (312,000 SF) to Broad Street Development for $190 million after paying $247 million in 2015.
  • Sold 24-28 West 25th Street (133,561 SF) to Savanna for $107.4 million after paying $103.8 million for the asset in 2015.
  • Selling 685 Third Avenue (651,492 SF) to BentallGreenOak for around $450 million after paying $467.5 million for the property in 2017.

Now the bidding will begin: Unizo Holdings shares jumped after the company backed a takeover offer made by its employees in partnership with Lone Star Group worth $1.6 billion, Reuters notedBlackstone is still in the hunt for the deal.

Dig Deeper: Elliott Management maintains a 13.4% stake in Unizo and is the company’s largest shareholder. The hedge fund has voiced concern that the Japanese company was trying to drive away suitors and suggested that management members were seeking to preserve their jobs. With Unizo now on board, this is clearly a step forward and a deal seems likely.

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