Anbang in talks with Kushner for New York building overhaul: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - China's Anbang Insurance Group is in talks to invest in a project to redevelop a flagship New York City building owned by Kushner Companies, the family real estate business run by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

The talks to revitalize the 41-floor building located at 666 Fifth Avenue, were first reported by the New York Times on Saturday in an extensive article about Jared Kushner that detailed a November meeting between him and Anbang Chairman Wu Xiaohui days after Trump won the presidential election.

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The skyscraper at 666 Fifth Ave. stands on Fifth Avenue near 53rd Street December 7, 2006 in New York City. The Kushners, a New Jersey real estate family, will buy the building from Tishman Speyer Properties for $1.8 billion, setting a new record by $800 thousand. Tishman Speyer spent $1.72 billion when they bought the MetLife Building.

(Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

Passers-by walk near the office building at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York December 7, 2006. Real estate developer and investor Tishman Speyer has agreed to sell the building for $1.8 billion, the highest price ever paid for a single office building in the United States.

(REUTERS/Keith Bedford (UNITED STATES)

Passers-by walk near the office building at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York December 7, 2006. Real estate developer and investor Tishman Speyer has agreed to sell the building for $1.8 billion, the highest price ever paid for a single office building in the United States.

(REUTERS/Keith Bedford)

Passers-by walk near the office building at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York December 7, 2006. Real estate developer and investor Tishman Speyer has agreed to sell the building for $1.8 billion, the highest price ever paid for a single office building in the United States.

(REUTERS/Keith Bedford)

The Tishman Building at 666 Fifth Avenue, New York City, New York.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

Traffic passes outside 666 Fifth Avenue in New York, U.S., on Monday, April 19, 2010. New York's Fifth Avenue is claiming a city retail record: Japanese clothier Uniqlo agreed to pay $300 million over 15 years to bring its affordable fashions to the world's most expensive shopping area. Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing Co., Japan's biggest apparel seller, announced the deal today, with broker Cushman & Wakefield Inc. and landlord Crown Acquisitions disclosing the price.

(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

An empty retail store on the street level of 666 Fifth Avenue in New York, U.S., on Monday, April 19, 2010. New York's Fifth Avenue is claiming a city retail record: Japanese clothier Uniqlo agreed to pay $300 million over 15 years to bring its affordable fashions to the world's most expensive shopping area. Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing Co., Japan's biggest apparel seller, announced the deal today, with broker Cushman & Wakefield Inc. and landlord Crown Acquisitions disclosing the price.

(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The building at 666 Fifth Avenue stands in New York, U.S., on Friday, April 25, 2008. Carlyle Group, the world's second-largest private-equity firm, is poised to buy the retail portion of 666 Fifth Ave. building for $525 million in a transaction that would help the building's owner Jared Kushner repay debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

(Photo by Jb Reed/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A man talks on his mobile phone outside the NBA Store at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York, U.S., on Friday, April 25, 2008. Carlyle Group, the world's second-largest private-equity firm, is poised to buy the retail portion of 666 Fifth Ave. building for $525 million in a transaction that would help the building's owner Jared Kushner repay debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

(Photo by Jb Reed/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A woman walks past the entrance to 666 Fifth Avenue in New York, U.S., on Friday, April 25, 2008. Carlyle Group, the world's second-largest private-equity firm, is poised to buy the retail portion of 666 Fifth Ave. building for $525 million in a transaction that would help the building's owner Jared Kushner repay debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

(Photo by Jb Reed/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

People walk past the skyscraper 666 Fifth Ave., located on Fifth Avenue near 53rd Street December 7, 2006 in New York City. The Kushners, a New Jersey real estate family, will buy the building from Tishman Speyer Properties for $1.8 billion, setting a new record by $800 thousand. Tishman Speyer spent $1.72 billion when they bought the MetLife Building.

(Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

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The deal has not been completed and key points remain in discussion, the newspaper reported, citing representatives for Jared Kushner. A source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, confirmed the talks to Reuters but did not elaborate.

Representatives for Kushner and Trump did not respond to requests by Reuters for comment, while Anbang declined to comment.

Kushner is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka and is the chief executive of Kushner Companies. He is believed to be in consideration for a senior White House role as a trusted confidant to his father-in-law, who takes office Jan. 20.

Kushner is studying with lawyers how we would have to divest and distance himself from the family business if he were to take a role in the Trump administration, the New York Times reported.

Kushner will also have to determine whether federal anti-conflict of interest laws, which prohibit the hiring of a family member including a son-in-law, would preclude him working in a government run by Trump.

Privately-owned Anbang, established in 2004 as an auto insurer, has emerged as one of China's most aggressive acquirers of overseas assets in the past two years, spending more than $30 billion buying luxury hotels, insurers and other property assets. It owns the famed Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City.

The Fifth Avenue building was purchased by Kushner Companies in 2006 for $1.8 billion, which at the time was the highest sales price for a single building in Manhattan.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York and Ginger Gibson in Washington; Writing by Mary Milliken; Editing by Carmel Crimmins and Chris Reese)


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