US & Canada

Jared Kushner's family firm ends investment talks with China's Anbang

White House Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Planning Jared Kushner and his wife and President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka at the White House in Washington, DC, 10 February 2017 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, is a senior White House adviser

The company owned by the family of US President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has ended talks with a Chinese firm over a major redevelopment project in New York City.

A Kushner Companies spokesperson told the BBC that it and Anbang Insurance Group have "mutually agreed to end talks" over 666 Fifth Avenue.

The potential deal had raised questions about a conflict of interest.

Mr Kushner plays an influential role at the White House.

The potential $4bn (£3.2bn) investment deal would have netted Kushner Companies more than $400m, Bloomberg had earlier reported.

Some real estate experts were said to have considered the terms of such a transaction unusually favourable for the US company.

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Media captionJared Kushner has a long list of things to do

Five Democratic lawmakers wrote to the White House on 24 March to raise concerns about what they called a "highly troubling transaction", which they said if executed "would appear to present a clear conflict of interest" for Mr Kushner.

They asked if Jared Kushner had been directly involved in talks with Anbang and for more details regarding his reported divestment of ownership of the building.

Kushner Companies spokesman James Yolles has said that Mr Kushner sold his ownership stake in 666 Fifth Avenue to family members, meaning that any transaction would pose no conflict of interest with his role at the White House.

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Image caption The building was bought by Kushner Companies in 2006

The ageing 41-floor property, which occupies a full block that fronts Fifth Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Street, was purchased by Kushner Companies in 2006 for $1.8bn. At the time, it was the highest price paid for a single building in Manhattan.

Anbang is yet to comment. Kushner Companies, owned by Jared Kushner and his father Charles, says it is in "advanced negotiations" with a number of other potential partners.

Jared Kushner, 36, is married to Mr Trump's daughter, Ivanka.

He has found himself in the spotlight this week after volunteering to speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee about meetings with Russian officials, as alleged ties between the Trump team and Moscow continue to dog the president.

The committee is examining Russia's alleged interference in last year's election.

Russia has always denied any interference.

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