It might have been one of the biggest heists of all time.
Anbang has sold its U.S. hotel portfolio to the highest bidder at a price north of $5.8 billion, but a last-minute wrench was thrown into the deal when the Chinese insurance conglomerate discovered six of the properties’ deeds were fraudulently transferred to limited liability companies, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The deal with the buyer, South Korea’s Mirae Asset Global Investments, was due to close last month but was delayed due to fake deeds that transferred the ownership of six of the properties to unidentified limited liability companies. (One was reportedly called Andy Bang LLC.)
The fraudulent transfers were discovered as part of a routine search and sources told the Journal that Anbang had no knowledge of the transactions. The six properties found with fake deeds were all located in California.
Anbang, which has been selling off its holdings in the U.S. since its former chairman was sent to prison last year, began accepting bids for its hotel portfolio earlier this spring. Other bidders included Brookfield Asset Management, Fortress Investment Group and Blackstone Group. The Waldorf Astoria in New York, which is also owned by the insurer and is partly being converted into condos, was not included in the sale. [WSJ] — Erin Hudson