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Exclusive: Vornado, Oxford buy stakes in New York's 650 Madison Ave

By Ilaina Jonas

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Vornado Realty Trust and Oxford Properties, the real estate arm of an Ontario pension plan, are buying stakes in 650 Madison Avenue, joining two parties that had already agreed to acquire the Manhattan building for $1.3 billion, three sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

The office and retail tower now will have four equal owners, one source said.

The sources declined to be identified because the deal is not public.

When the sale of 650 Madison is complete, it will become one of a handful of Manhattan office buildings whose sale or partial sale this year values the property at more than $1 billion, according to real estate research firm Real Capital Analytics.

Carlyle Group LP said in June it was selling the building to Crown Acquisitions and Highgate, and those two companies have decided to sell a portion of their future stakes to Vornado and Oxford Properties.

Oxford did not immediately return a telephone call and email seeking comment. A representative for Vornado declined comment.

Located on Madison Avenue between 59th and 60th streets, the 27-story tower houses furniture store Crate & Barrel and Italian shoe designer Tod's. It has about 75,000 square feet of retail space with 200 feet lining Madison Avenue, one of the most expensive shopping areas in the United States. The retail space represents about 75 percent of the value of the building.

Carlyle, the private equity firm that acquired the property in 2008 with then-partner Ashkenazy Acquisitions for $680 million, agreed to sell the building after an active bidding process run by Eastdil Secured.

(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Andre Grenon)

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