reader from the U.K. seeks research advice for finding information
about business transactions involving the buy-out of outside
partners, who helped finance the purchase and development of real
estate in New York (Manhattan) during the period 1979 to 1983. The
U.S. companies involved consisted of general partnerships, limited
liability companies and corporations organized under the laws of New
York and Delaware.
Maureen Drews, a paralegal with Holland & Knight,
and I respond.
Maureen: A great source of information on M&A
deals, involving public companies or their subsidiaries, is
which is a Global Securities Information, Inc. database. You have to
have an account to access it. With phone support from researchers,
you should be able to identify the transactions. However, I am not
sure how far back the M&A database goes.
Editor: Because of the time period involved
(1979-1983) and the complexity of research involving real estate
transactions, I recommend you hire a research service that
specializes in searching real estate titles or transactions. BRB
Public Record Retriever Network is a good place to start when
looking for a research service. Also, an expert, who wants to remain
anonymous, suggests contacting
a public records research business. Their phone is 212-608-2546.
Real estate filings are public record. The New York
City Register maintains these records for Manhattan and surrounding
counties. The NY Department of Finance provides access to the
Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS) via its Web
site. ACRIS offers property record indexes and document images for
Manhattan back to 1966. The ACRIS Help Desk phone is 212-487-6300.
(See Web site address below.)
Another, less certain avenue of research would be to
retrieve the companies' filings with the New York Secretary of
State. The filings are public; however, I'm uncertain about whether
they would contain the kind of details you seek. If the businesses
are still active, the Division's database should provide an index of
the companies' filings. You can contact the
Division of Corporations at (518) 473-2492, Monday - Friday,
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
Finally, according to a 1997 Missouri Law Review
article ("Structural Change and Inter-Professional Competitive
Advantage: An Example Drawn From Residential Real Estate
Conveyancing," 62 Mo. L. Rev. 241), real estate transactions are
filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on form 1099S. While
the forms do not appear to be public record, I mention this in the
event your question concerns litigation and they are discoverable.