Blackstone Group LP plans to buy the top floors of the former New York Times building in Manhattan for $160 million, according to a report in the New York Times.

Blackstone is buying the top 11 floors from Africa Israel USA, a unit of Africa Israel Investments , which has lost tens of millions of dollars on the property in the wake of the U.S. real estate market crash, the Times said.

Blackstone will own the fifth through to the 15th floors and part of the fourth floor. The purchase makes up 450,000 of the building's 700,000 square feet, according to the Times.

Africa Israel, which is owned by billionaire Israeli businessman Lev Leviev, bought the building for $525 million in 2007 from real estate investment firm Tishman Speyer.

Officials at Blackstone and Africa Israel could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Reporting by Helen Kearney; Editing by Matt Driskill)