Anbang denies investment in Trump son-in-law's flagship NY office block

Miranda GreerMar 16, 2017

A NY real-estate company owned by the family of President Donald Trump's son-in-law is negotiating to sell a $400 million stake in its Fifth Avenue flagship skyscraper to a Chinese insurance company with ties to leading families of the Communist Party.

It would value the 41-story tower at $2.85 billion, the most ever for a single building in wealthy Manhattan. Anbang could face a review by the Chinese government, which has been pressing to stop overseas investments and which has a range of pending issues with the Trump administration. The new partnership will refinance $1.15 billion in existing mortgage debt.

In his presentation to prospective investors, Charles Kushner, the leader of the family company and Jared's father, has said that once renovated, the property would be worth more than $7 billion, according to a real estate broker and two investors who have heard the pitch and spoke on condition of anonymity because they want to do further business with the companies.

"The information about Anbang investment in 666 Fifth Avenue is not correct, there is no investment from Anbang for this deal", a spokesman for Anbang said in a statement on Tuesday. The negotiations may lead to a federal review like it did when Anbang was looking to purchase the Waldorf Astoria.

The planned partnership is searching for additional investors through a federal program known as EB-5, which offers residency permits to major foreign investors.

"Kushner Companies has taken significant steps to avoid potential conflicts and will continue to do so", A company spokesperson, James Yolles, said adding that Jared Kushner had earlier distributed the ownership of the building, mentioned in the agreement, to the family members in order to avoid any conflict with his role in the White House. A White House spokesman told Bloomberg that Kushner will recuse himself from subjects such as the EB-5 visa program. Now Anbang will be business partners with in-laws of the First Family. "Anbang is a highly transparent company that operates in accordance to the standards of public companies and strictly abides by applicable regulatory requirements", he said.

Kushner, who is husband to Trump's daughter Ivanka, has now surfaced as a de facto United States envoy under the current presidency.

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