Anbang Paying Kushners $400M In 666 Fifth Ave. 'Sweetheart Deal'
The Kushner Cos. has plans to sign a $4B deal with a controversial Chinese insurance company that could result in a $400M payout to the family of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who had been CEO of the family business until his father-in-law won the presidential election.
Anbang Insurance Group is set to invest in the mixed-use tower at 666 Fifth Ave., a deal the New York Times reports has been undergoing negotiations since January. The investment would give the Kushners an equity stake in the new partnership and slash the mortgage the family has on the building — reported to be north of $1B — to about one-fifth of what it had been, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
A Kushner spokesman told Bloomberg Jared Kushner sold his ownership stake in the building to his family members, claiming the transaction poses no conflict of interest with the White House. The denial will not come close to quelling doubters, who claim Kushner got "a sweetheart deal" considering the troubled financial history of the asset, bought by the firm for a record-setting price.
Details of the agreement are being circulated to attract additional investors, including through the controversial EB-5 program. It is unclear whether the deal will prompt federal review, as there was when Anbang bought the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan for nearly $2B. Anbang has opaque ties to the Chinese government, which also might present an issue with this deal; it has set harsh restrictions on capital flowing out of China toward foreign real estate.
Vornado owns a significant chunk of the building as well, and the company run by chairman/CEO Steve Roth, who has deep ties to Trump and the administration, would reportedly make a tenfold return on investment in the rumored deal.