Africa-Israel sells Manhattan's Clock Tower for $165m

The sale will reduce AFI USA's liabilities by $67.5 million, and it will report a net cash flow of $88 million.

Africa-Israel Investments Ltd. (TASE:AFIL) subsidiary AFI USA Inc. has sold Manhattan's Clock Tower for $165 million, after a previous sale fell through in September. The company did not disclose the name of the buyer.

The sale will reduce AFI USA's liabilities by $67.5 million, and it will report a net cash flow of $88 million.

Africa-Israel books the property at a value of NIS 578 million, and it carries a non-recourse loan of NIS 207 million, which bears 10% annual interest.

Africa-Israel, controlled by chairman Lev Leviev, bought the Clock Tower at Madison Square Park for $200 million in 2007. The landmark Clock Tower was built in 1909 as the headquarters for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The 213.5-meter tall 26,000-sq.m. tower was added to the original 1893 building to make it the tallest in the world at the time. The Clock Tower was modelled after the clock tower of St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice, and its four bronze bells, sounds off Händel every fifteen minutes during the day and the evening. The interior decor comprises 14 murals by painter Newell Covers Wyeth.

Africa-Israel planned to convert the building into luxury condos.

Africa-Israel's share price rose 8.1% in morning trading today to NIS 12.20, giving a market cap of NIS 1.4 billion.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 16, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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