Kushyの上陸を詮索する トランプの大統領職はKushnerの企業を助けてきていない。 メディアの詳細な調査が取引のやり方の中に入り込んでいる。

Searching for a Kushy landing
The Trump presidency may not have helped Kushner Companies
Media scrutiny is getting in the way of deals
Jul 20th 2017 | NEW YORK


WHEN the deal was struck just over a decade ago, for $1.8bn, 666 Fifth Avenue, a 41-storey Manhattan skyscraper, became the most expensive office building ever sold in America. Now it is in limbo, awaiting billions of dollars of investment to rebuild it and raise it almost twice as high. Across the Hudson River, another hunt for money is under way, to build a property called One Journal Square in Jersey City. In June a property-investing start-up called Cadre attracted financial backing from Silicon Valley luminaries including Andreessen Horowitz, a venture-capital company. 


The thread linking these ventures is Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, whose family business, like that of the president, is in property. Mr Kushner helped conceive all three projects. He has a “passive ownership interest” in Cadre (meaning he is not actively involved in its management). His family co-owns 666 Fifth Avenue and One Journal Square. 


Unlike the president, Mr Kushner is not exempt from federal conflict-of-interest laws. He has taken steps to distance himself from his wide-ranging property business. Kushner Companies, a complex enterprise that is made up of dozens of limited-liability companies, or LLCs, has more than 20,000 flats and 13m square feet (1.2m square metres) of commercial space across six states. Before joining the Trump administration he stepped down as the head of Kushner Companies and sold his stake in several properties, including 666 Fifth Avenue and One Journal Square. 


Yet Mr Kushner kept his stake in many of the LLCs that make up the business. He still has a passive ownership interest in about 90% of his holdings in property, worth up to $408m, according to his disclosures. His father, Charles Kushner (photographed with his son, above), has a big role at Kushner Companies. Jared Kushner’s stakes in 666 Fifth Avenue and One Journal Square went into trusts owned by his family. A long list of lenders and partners to the family business could benefit from White House policies. 


Property fights
Jared Kushner is the chief architect of Kushner Companies in its current form. His grandfather, Joseph Kushner, a Holocaust survivor, developed garden apartments in New Jersey. Charles Kushner founded the business called Kushner Companies in 1985 and led it until being convicted for tax evasion, illegal campaign donations and tampering with a witness. Jared Kushner was 24 in 2005 when his father went to prison; the next year he bought the New York Observer, a newspaper, and went to work restoring his family’s reputation. But the bigger transformation came later in 2006, when Kushner Companies said it would buy 666 Fifth Avenue.


The financial market quickly plunged and office rents fell with it. The company went on to sell 666 Fifth’s prime retail space to a Spanish firm, Inditex, owner of Zara, and other investors. It also refinanced its debt in a transaction in 2011 that gave a 49.5% stake to Vornado, a real-estate investment trust founded by Steven Roth, a longtime partner of Mr Trump. 

For a while the company’s appetite for big acquisitions declined. But in 2011, with 666 Fifth refinanced, Mr Kushner began buying again (see chart), according to Real Capital Analytics, a data firm. His targets included modest residential buildings in lower Manhattan and in Midwestern cities such as Toledo and Akron. He envisaged bigger developments, too, including One Journal Square and another in Brooklyn, now called Panorama, for its views of the Manhattan skyline. 


Now that Mr Kushner is in the White House, two questions preoccupy observers. First, is his family business benefiting financially from his role and from his proximity to the president? Second, is he conflicted despite the steps he has taken to adhere to federal law? 


Start with the question of financial benefits. This is a pivotal moment for the firm. It is seeking tenants for Panorama and new loans for a residential building along Jersey City’s waterfront (in both of which Mr Kushner still has a stake). More important, it is also looking for investors for 666 Fifth Avenue and One Journal Square (in which Mr Kushner does not have a stake). But the scrutiny that has accompanied Mr Kushner’s White House role appears to be hindering, not helping. 


In January the New York Times reported that Kushner Companies was seeking equity capital for 666 Fifth from Anbang, one of China’s biggest insurers, which has ties to Beijing’s political elite. At the moment 666 Fifth Avenue’s debt—of $1.4bn, according to Vornado’s recent filings—eclipses the value of the office building itself, says Jed Reagan of Green Street, a research firm. That is partly Kushner Companies’ own doing, because of the price it paid and because it is intentionally letting the building slowly empty of its office tenants so it can be rebuilt. The new design, created by Zaha Hadid, an architect who died last year, would include a hotel, luxurious flats, new space for shops and would cost $7.5bn.


The talks with Anbang fell apart in March amid protests from ethics experts and from Democrats, who fretted about conflicts of interest and threats to national security. Another avenue also recently closed. For over two years, Kushner Companies has talked to Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, an eminent Qatari, about investing in 666 Fifth. This month The Intercept, a news site, reported that HBJ, as he is known, had agreed to invest $500m if Mr Kushner could raise other money elsewhere. Kushner Companies confirmed on July 11th that talks had recently ended and that it is reassessing the financing structure of the redevelopment project.

fell apart:行き詰まる

Some speculate that Mr Kushner has looked elsewhere, too. In December he met with the head of a government-owned Russian bank that is subject to American sanctions. Vnesheconombank said it was a business meeting. The White House said that Mr Kushner was “acting in his capacity as a transition official”.

acting in his capacity :の資格において行動する

Jared Kushnerが法に引っかからないような立場で、不動産にどう絡んでいるのかを調査している。大統領に近い立場にいるので、それによる便宜があるのかどうかも関心がある。彼自身が直接関与していないようだが、ロシアの銀行との接触のように、政府の立場で、金融にタッチしている。どこまでが政府の立場で、どこまでが企業の立場かは微妙だろう。


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