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

A company owned by the family of President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is set to receive more than $400 million from a Chinese firm that is investing in its Manhattan office tower, Bloomberg reported Monday.

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

"The deal would value the 41-story tower at $2.85 billion, the most ever for a single Manhattan building", it added.

The deal would allow Vornado Realty Trust - which is partnered with Trump in his two most valuable properties - to exit a troubled asset with a 10-fold payout on its stake in the building's offices and a doubling of its investment in its stores.

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. Anbang's ties to the Chinese government have also been questioned in the past-so much so that President Obama refused to stay at the Waldorf Astoria after Anbang purchased it, over fears of spying. The new partnership will refinance $1.15 billion in existing mortgage debt.

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The proposed partnership is also seeking additional investors through a controversial federal program, EB-5, which rewards wealthy foreign investors with green cards. 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. Also the Kushners will themselves invest $750 million enhancing the retail portion of the building.

"The information about Anbang's investment in 666 Fifth Avenue is not correct, there is no investment from Anbang for this deal", a spokesperson with the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Kushner family declined to discuss details of the deal. "The Anbang talks, which have not previously been reported, began roughly six months ago - "Well before the president-elect's victory", Jared Kushner's spokeswoman, Risa Heller, had said, the New York Times had reported in January".

US President Donald Trump plans to host Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida next month for a summit weighted with vast economic and security implications, a US media portal reported on Monday.

  • Adam Floyd