Chinese Firm With Government Ties Gives Kushner Family 'Sweetheart Deal'

Chinese Firm With Government Ties Gives Kushner Family 'Sweetheart Deal'

As reported by Bloomberg News, the proposed $4 billion transaction contains terms that some real estate experts have described as unusually favorable towards the family of President Trump's son-in-law.

Vornado Realty Trust, one of the largest owners of Class A office and high-end retail space in Manhattan, gained a 49.5 percent interest as part of a $1.215 billion recapitalization of the building in 2011.

"The information about Anbang investment in 666 Fifth Avenue is not correct, there is no investment from Anbang for this deal", the company said in a statement to Fortune and other outlets.

The property was purchased by Kushner Cos in 2006 for $1.8 billion, which at the time was the highest price paid for a single building in Manhattan.

Anbang, a Chinese conglomerate with nearly $300 billion in assets, is owned by 39 companies, many of them shell companies that, when traced, lead to empty offices or government registration bureaus, according to Chinese government records.

In 2014, the insurer bought New York's landmark Waldorf Astoria hotel from Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT.N) for $1.95 billion.

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The partnership between the Kushner family company and Anbang is also looking for additional investors through the EB-5 visa program, which provides two-year visas and a track to permanent residency in the United States for foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000.

Talks for the deal became evident when Bloomberg got its hands on materials (EB-5 financing) meant to attract overseas investors to the project.

"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 spokeswoman also said that Mr. Kushner will excuse himself from any issues where his impartiality may be reasonably questioned.

Through the deal with Anbang, Kushner Companies will get $400 million in cash, according to The Real Deal.

Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, has become something of a de facto envoy for the administration, and was present for a meeting between Yang Jiechi, China's top diplomat, and his father-in-law at the end of February.