Trump Set To Seize Stake In China-Owned Building In Midtown Manhattan: Report

In what would mark an abrupt and serious escalation of the US-China trade and currency war - if true - is a report from the NY Post according to which the Trump administration, as part of a crackdown on certain US investments made by Chinese companies, is set to seize a majority stake in 850 Third Ave. The stake is owned by HNA, the reeling, quasi-insolvent Chinese conglomerate whose Chairman died in a freak accident in Italy one month ago, and its US partner in the building is desperate to save it.

The "strike" on the HNA building, which is located between East 51st and 52nd streets, has been in the works for months according to the Post and "is believed to be the first move by the Trump White House since Congress on Aug. 1 approved expanded authority of CFIUS — the Committee on Foreign Investors in the United States."

“This is coming from the White House,” said a source said of the seizure that could ultimately force the sale of HNA’s stake in the 575,000-square-foot building. As a reminder, as part of the CFIUS expansion, it now has purview over foreign real estate interests.

Under the purview of the CFIUS authority, a "security pretext" needs to exist for direct government involvement, and in this case the seizure is tied to a "specific national security concern": the NYPD’s 17th Precinct is located on the ground floor on the south side of the building. Officers from that precinct, at times, are detailed to protect Trump Tower.

The 58-year-old building, once removed by CFIUS from Chinese hands, sources said, will be placed in a trust. A trustee will then be appointed, and it may eventually be sold — although no sales process is underway.

While HNA could fight the seizure in a court battle that could take years to sort out, Post sources said.

In a separate report from Bloomberg, HNA confirmed it has been questioned by the CFIUS over its ownership of a building in Manhattan "near Trump Tower", but denied the Post report that President Donald Trump’s administration is poised to seize a majority stake in the building, which the debt-saddled company has been looking to unload. “There is no seizure or forced sale of 850 Third Avenue underway or pending, and it is grossly inaccurate and misleading to suggest otherwise,” it said.

It did, however, admit that CFIUS has raised concerns about some “unique facts and circumstances” regarding the location of the building, a representative for the Chinese company said in a statement. Those issues didn’t exist when HNA bought the 850 Third Avenue property, according to the statement.

The 21-story building houses one of only two police precincts that are within a mile of Trump Tower, the president’s base when he’s in New York. HNA said it’s taking steps to address concerns voiced by the committee, without providing further detail.

HNA - which bought the 850 Third Avenue building before Trump was elected -had become a poster child for a wave of global M&A rollups that shook the world in late 2015 and 2016, as Chinese corporations sought out high-profile deals around the world in what many had suspects was nothing more than legal money laundering, before the government started reining them in last year amid concern about unsustainable corporate debt levels.

While HNA won't publicly admit it, the Chinese conglomerate which recently found itself in a liquidity crisis, has been scrambling to deleverage, and has sold more than $17 billion in assets to reduce its massive debt load; it has been marketing the Manhattan building among several properties it is considering selling. It was not clear if the alleged CFIUS seizure would result in a payment to HNA or would be conducted as a confiscation.

While so far the CFIUS ramped up powers meant more deals get scuttled - including most notably the recent collapse of the Qualcomm-Broadcom deal and subsequent NXP-Qualcomm merger failure, it has so far left untouched any of the many trophy real-estate assets owned by China in Manhattan and elsewhere.

The increased attention has seen some high-profile deals scuppered, such as Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s attempt to buy Dallas-based payment provider MoneyGram International. Broadcom Ltd.’s $117 billion attempt to buy California’s Qualcomm Inc. -- which would have been the largest tech deal in history -- was shot down on concerns the merger would benefit China’s emerging telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co.

This isn’t the first time HNA has crossed CFIUS’s radar. In late April, it abandoned plans to buy SkyBridge Capital from former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci after waiting months for approval from the body. The group has also faced heightened scrutiny across its holdings worldwide, partly because of questions about its ownership.

Meanwhile, even though China has continued to respond largely stoically to Trump's trade provocations, an outright seizure of Chinese real estate in the US would likely result in an instant - and aggressive - response from Beijing, with the most likely scenario to follow would be for China to make life for companies that produce their goods on the mainland - such as Apple - increasingly difficult, something the People's Daily hinted at earlier this week when it threatened Apple CEO Tim Cook that it would unleash "anger and nationalist sentiment" again the iconic phone maker, resulting in a collapse in Chinese sales and surging production costs, if China perceives that it is being pushed too far.

Comments

lisa.roy39 ZippyBananaPants Thu, 08/09/2018 - 09:12 Permalink

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In reply to by ZippyBananaPants

lock-stick Adolfsteinbergovitch Thu, 08/09/2018 - 11:28 Permalink

It's all ONE SICK, PATHETIC SPAMMER!!!

•• lisa.roy39  ("I SUCK DICK ON THE INTERNET FOR LAND ROVERS!")

•• Adolfsteinbergovitch ("I TORMENT THE WOMAN WHO SUCKS DICK!")

•• Free This (ABOVE, in all his 7th grade glory - MONKEY BOY!!!)

•• roea.rita ("I SUCK DICK ON THE INTERNET FOR LAND ROVERS!")

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dozens and dozens and dozens of banned log-on's -- more than seven years!

 

....and all the while, the pathetic little SPAMMER sits in his leaky, moldy, smelly single wide in Western New York, surrounded by garbage and dirty clothes, trying to find his dick amidst rolls of fat, talking to his ACTION FIGURES and wondering where his life went.

In reply to by Adolfsteinbergovitch

Casey Stengel Arne Saknussemm Thu, 08/09/2018 - 11:06 Permalink

When Chinese courts rule against American owners of buildings in China there is no compensation to the Americans. The 40 year lease will now be renegotiated after twenty years. "Oh, you can't afford the outrageous new lease agreement. That's too bad. It will go to the Chinese businessman who's had his eye on this property." I kid you not. That's the way it works. Plus, they can deny access to the building during the negotiations that the American is sure to lose. Don't feel an ounce of sympathy for the Chinese buyers in America.

In reply to by Arne Saknussemm

Antifaschistische Everybodys All… Thu, 08/09/2018 - 09:57 Permalink

well...Chinese style socialism is that insiders in the Communist party really own/control all the production of large businesses in China.   It more resembles a traditional Italian NY mob syndicate than an economic/social system.   Every time Trump plays a tariff card one of the mob bosses goes belly up.  It creates a disturbance in the force.

In reply to by Everybodys All…

dirty fingernails Thu, 08/09/2018 - 09:00 Permalink

Because seizing forgeign owned property always ends well. It's also the hallmark of freedumb

There is a shit-load of US owned manufacturing equipment in China that can be seized.

Does this moron ever think of consequences or is it like he has Tourettes?

dirty fingernails LawsofPhysics Thu, 08/09/2018 - 09:16 Permalink

So the neverending push by business and the right to eliminate minimum wage laws and to eliminate unions doesn't end up in the same place how exactly? With our cost of living, the fucking Chinese are making MORE than we are!

You point out the Winnie the Pooh stupid vanity of Xi yet you fail to see the same things in the clearly vain and insecure Trump, yet everyone else is a child. 

In reply to by LawsofPhysics

the artist Uchtdorf Thu, 08/09/2018 - 10:23 Permalink

A good number of women paint their face every day. Are you as critical of them? Are you sexist? 

How about Rachel Maddow and the rest of the retards on TV and every actor that ever filmed??? They all paint their faces. or did they do it in a way that pleases you???

Just wondering how you arrange your criticisms. I personally don't give a rats ass. 

Maybe Trump has "bad skin" and feels like his brand would suffer if the world had to see his acne scars? ever think about that? 

You think Bill Clinton didn't use make-up? 

You think George Bush jr and Sr didn't use make-up? 

Imagine if Hillary DIDNT use make-up? She would never have gotten as far as she did because even with it she was ugly as fuck. 

In reply to by Uchtdorf

the artist Uchtdorf Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:01 Permalink

Who doesn't notice it on others? I notice it. I personally don't give a shit but there are people who would argue that ANY make-up is a sign of psych issues. 

We get it...You like people to wear make-up in a way that is acceptable to YOU. If they don't apply their appliqué in a way that pleases you then it is open season in terms of their competence in whatever field they are in. Lets not talk about the issues because you would rather focus on a persons appearance. 

Reminds me of the joke with the punch line..."we already established that, now we are just haggling over the price". 

So he is orange. So what. If he was black would you be saying he is too black? Not black enough? What about his hair? is it too blonde? not blonde enough. Perhaps its too long or not teased in a way that pleases you. 

Where does it end with you? Where does it begin? Why do you get to decide what is psychotic use of makeup and what is acceptable? 

Just curious? 

 

In reply to by Uchtdorf

Uchtdorf Solomonpal Thu, 08/09/2018 - 10:53 Permalink

You do realize that you're actually thinking about the crotch of an anonymous person on the Internet, don't you? That's not healthy, pal. Your namesake had much more wisdom than that.

Given the income that allows me to support my family, your attempt to insult me with the reference to an EBT card falls flat. What else you got?

In reply to by Solomonpal

PrometeyBezkrilov LawsofPhysics Thu, 08/09/2018 - 11:14 Permalink

The Chinese didn't still anything. It was a decision made by the banksters to outsource the US manufacturing in the process of devouring the country. The Chinese took it but didn't play by the book. Good for them. Now the mad crew in charge in the US is running out of options to "punish" and "sanction" those evil "regimes" in every fucken country. The regimes are everywhere, but not in the US, hmm?!

In reply to by LawsofPhysics