New York developer, on buying spree, now has signature properties on both coasts

TRD NATIONAL / February 04, 2020

San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica Building has been sold for the first time.

The pyramid-shaped tower was acquired for close to $700 million by a partnership led by New York developer Michael Shvo, according to two people familiar with the transaction. The deal closed Monday, the sources said.

Transamerica, a holding company that owns multiple life-insurance firms, has owned the 850-foot-tall building since it was constructed in 1972. After a failed marketing attempt to sell a 49 percent stake in the building in 2018, Transamerica put it on the market in August and major bidders soon emerged, including New York-based real estate firms Vornado Realty Trust and RFR Realty, and Hong Kong investor Goodwin Gaw.

Transamerica and its parent company Aegon did not respond to requests for comment. Shvo and his partnership declined to comment.

Bloomberg first reported the deal Tuesday afternoon.

The building is the latest in a string of acquisitions by Shvo and his partners, which include Deutsche Finance and German pension fund Bayerische Versorgungskammer, or BVK. In the past 18 months, the group has shelled out more than $3 billion for more than a half dozen properties, including the Coca-Cola Building on Fifth Avenue in New York.