Jared Kushner is in advanced talks to sell his share in WiredScore, a Soho-based real estate technology startup that rates office buildings based on the speed and reliability of their internet connectivity.
Kushner, a senior White House adviser and the president’s son-in-law, has been negotiating to sell his stake to a group that includes Los Angeles-based Fifth Wall Ventures, the Wall Street Journal reported. The sale is part of Kushner’s efforts to divest himself of his business ties. The sale price is not clear, and the talks may not result in a formal deal, according to the Journal.
WiredScore is a rating platform that assesses office buildings based on their broadband connectivity. The company launched in 2013 and received early support from then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Kushner told The Real Deal at the time the concept of the business is to improve the level of information available to tenants.
Kusher is a managing member of Broadband Proliferation Partners LLC, which owns WiredScore, according to a federal disclosure form cited by the Journal. His stake is worth between $5 million and $25 million, Kushner disclosed earlier this year.
Fifth Wall Ventures is run by Brendan Wallace and Brad Greiwe, and last year raised $159.3 million, according to the newspaper. The company targets firms that provide services to the real estate industry.
Since taking his role at the White House, Kushner has resigned as CEO of Kushner Companies and announced the sale of his stake in his property at 666 Fifth Avenue to a family-operated trust. Critics have said he’s not done enough to sufficiently remove himself from his business assets.
Last month, Chinese insurer Anbang Insurance Group was reportedly in talks to buy a stake in the building, and help the company redevelop it. However, any plans were ultimately abandoned.
Federal law does not provide “as much guidance” on how divestitures should be done when compared to other issues that concern the business ties of government officials, Richard Painter, the chief White House ethics lawyer under George W. Bush, told the newspaper. [WSJ] — Miriam Hall