Billionaire Chairman Of Chinese Conglomerate Anbang, Linked To Jared Kushner, Has Been Detained

Anbang Insurance, China's hyperacquisitive insurance rollup, which was responsible for a sizable portion of China's merger spree between 2014 and 2016, and which has since been accused of being a money laundering vehicle, of wreaking "havoc" with the Chinese insurance market, and was a potential investor in Jared Kushner's 666 Fifth Avenue building until the deal fell apart in March, announced that its billionaire Chairman Wu Xiaohui, is "unable to perform his duties" due to personal reasons, confirming Chinese media reports that the tycoon had recently been detained by authorities.

On Tuesday, China's Caijing reported that Wu - whose net worth was recently estimated at over $1 billion - was taken away by Chinese authorities, citing unidentified people. The report said that officials from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission met with a small group of Anbang staff on June 10 and didn’t provide specific reasons for Wu being taken. Curiously the report, which did not explain if Wu was assisting with a government investigation or was himself the target of a price, was later deleted from the magazine’s website.

A person familiar with the matter told the South China Morning Post that Wu had been “assisting relevant investigations” and previously had always returned to his office or home after a few hours of questioning. Wu hasn’t returned since he was taken away at the end of last week, the person said.

Last week, the FT reported that Wu was barred by Chinese authorities from leaving the country, however Anbang denied the report.

Xiaohui led Anbang’s rapid rise and abrupt emergence in the international business arena,  where the company became known for its ambitious takeover bids. In October of 2014, Anbabg bought the Waldorf Astoria in New York for $1.95 billion, a record for a single American hotel, and later closed the property while it converts most of the rooms to luxury condominiums. In early 2016, Anbang agreed to buy Strategic Hotels & Resorts, owner of 16 high-end hotels in the U.S., from Blackstone for about $6.5 billion. One hotel next to a major naval base later dropped out of the purchase amid national security concerns. About the same time as Anbang agreed to the Strategic purchase, it made a surprise $14 billion offer for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, starting a bidding war with Marriott International Inc. A few weeks later, Anbang unexpectedly walked away from the bid, having forced Marriott to increase its offer by about $1 billion. Anbang also had an agreement to buy Fidelity & Guaranty Life, however the deal was canceled in April after the Chinese company failed to meet transaction deadlines.

Most notably, Anbang had been in talks to invest in the proposed redevelopment of 666 Fifth Ave. in New York, the marquee building of Kushner Cos., the family company of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Talks broke off in March.

However, once Beijing cooled on offshore M&A amid a crackdown on shady financial dealings encouraging capital flight, the company quickly became a target for dometic anger, suffering the wrath of local regulators over his company’s risky reliance on life insurance policies to raise funds, as well as an opaque corporate structure, profiled extenisvely by the NYT.

In a statement posted on its website, Anbang announced that other senior managers have been authorized to carry out Wu’s responsibilities and operations are normal.

As Bloomberg notes, the news adds to the intrigue surrounding one of the country’s most aggressive overseas dealmakers, which only came into being in 2004. Since it embarked on a global takeover spree three years ago, Anbang has drawn attention for making preemptive offers and disrupting transactions already in place. Wu has personally negotiated deals without using traditional investment banks.

Wu, who is married to the granddaughter of Chinese revolutionary and statesman, Deng Xiaoping, doesn’t speak English and often travels with translators. The vast majority of Anbang is collectively owned by relatives of Wu or his wife, Zhuo Ran, the New York Times has reported, although its corporate structure is so opaque it is difficult to trace ownership.

As the FT reported earlier, Xiaohui's detention is the highest-profile development in a sweep of China’s financial industry by corruption investigators that began in earnest in January, when a well-known financier was escorted from a luxury hotel in Hong Kong by Chinese police and taken across the border. Xiao Jianhua has not been heard from since, and there has been no official confirmation that he is under arrest.


nuubee Tue, 06/13/2017 - 17:56 Permalink

Poor Jared, it must suck to be born into wealth and have to defend shitbags to defend your position. Much better to earn your place in the world, for good or bad.

Amun DirtySanchez Tue, 06/13/2017 - 18:57 Permalink

Semite is an Arab. Therefore Anti-Semite means Anti-ArabHasidic means extreme Pharisean ideology (Pharisean already totally abhorent to Jesus - turning tables in the Temple) taken to a further extremePharisean ideology has been taken to a further extreme by a sect/gang of turkich people converted to Judaism for the sake of their own survival stack between Islamic and Christian EmpiresThey did to Judaism what Wahhabis have done to Islam, the only difference being that Wahhabis are a lot milder and never became a majority within their original Islamic ideologyHasidic sect was still absolutely dispised by "true jews" of Europe as lately as the beginning of the last centuryPoint here: don't call a native aborigines of Tasmania an Englishmen  

In reply to by DirtySanchez

AldousHuxley Tue, 06/13/2017 - 18:04 Permalink

Wu doesn't speak English, vast majority of Anbang is collectively owned by his wife, the granddaughter of Chinese revolutionary and statesman, Deng Xiaoping Jared doesn't speak Chinese, major portion of his real estate wealth is owned by his wife, the favored daughter of USA revolutionary and stateman, Donald Trump Wu is in jail, Kushner walks free.

Amun Tue, 06/13/2017 - 18:08 Permalink

Khazars going East at lastBack to turkich routes and rootsWill need those hasidic hats changing from Florida heat back to the long forgotten  Mongolian deep freeze

Dr. Bonzo Tue, 06/13/2017 - 20:20 Permalink

Wu, who is married to the granddaughter of Chinese revolutionary and statesman, Deng Xiaoping, doesn’t speak English and often travels with translators. The vast majority of Anbang is collectively owned by relatives of Wu or his wife, Zhuo RanBehind every Chinese "success" story you see the same fundamentals... inner party elites... nepotism... cronyism... land confiscation rips... fraud... cheating... scamming... show me a Chinese millionaire, I'll show you a dyed-in-the-wool master ripoff artist.

Lost in translation Dr. Bonzo Mon, 06/19/2017 - 07:18 Permalink

Let's say Wednesday June 21st, Court of Final Appeal Building, intersection of Chater and Jackson. 6 pm.

I'll be on the side where the Cenotaph is, casually dressed. You'll know I'm from Los Angeles when you see me.

If by 6:30 pm you're still not there, I'll just assume there was an emergency of some kind, head back to TST, and we'll meet up next time I'm here.

In reply to by Dr. Bonzo

Dr. Bonzo Lost in translation Mon, 06/19/2017 - 14:07 Permalink

Let's say Wednesday June 21st, Court of Final Appeal Building, intersection of Chater and Jackson. 6 pm.Hey LiT! This is fantastic man. We're going to have a blast! Glad you were able to catch that and glad I was able to catch you while you're still in Hong Kong. I'll keep it simple. I'll be the large bald kwailo asshole in the blue shortsleeve searsucker shirt. I'l try to be there first. Look forward to it! I'll keep you posted via this page for any updates. Hope you're having a great trip in the meantime! 

In reply to by Lost in translation