Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

Anbang Says Report of Investment in Kushner Tower 'Not Correct'

The New York Times first reported in January that Jared Kushner, who serves as a senior adviser to President Trump and is married to Trump's oldest daughter, Ivanka, was pursuing the deal with Anbang to invest in a building at 666 Fifth Manhattan.

The Chinese company, Anbang Insurance Group, would pay to get a high-profile piece of Manhattan real estate and would commit to spending billions more to completely transform the 60-year-old tower into a chic condominium and retail citadel.

Anbang and its chairman Wu Xiaohui made global business headlines in 2014, when it bought the NY based historic Waldorf for US$1.95 billion.

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.

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The deal would value the 41-story tower at $2.85 billion, the most ever for a single Manhattan building: $1.6 billion for the office section and $1.25 billion for the retail section.

Anbang would pay a hefty price for both sections of the 666 Fifth Ave. project but score its first US real estate investment of the year. New York Fifth Avenue tower, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Anbang may also face review by the Chinese government, which has become stringent in overseas investments.

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

When contacted, Kushner Cos. declined to give any comment and said the deal is still in its initial stage. The company's spokesperson said it "is in active discussions around 666 5th Avenue, but nothing has been finalised", Reuters reported. A White House spokeswoman also said that Mr. Kushner will excuse himself from any issues where his impartiality may be reasonably questioned. A Kushner company spokesman, James Yolles, said that Jared sold his ownership stake in 666 Fifth Ave to family members so that the transaction poses no conflict of interest with his roles in the White House.

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