Bankrupt Chinese tycoon’s Lenox Hill penthouse lists for $45M

An LLC tied to Guo Wengui, who fled China in 2014 before facing financial trouble in the U.S. bought the co-op for $67.5M in 2015

Guo Wengui and 781 Fifth Avenue (Getty, Serena Boardman)
Guo Wengui and 781 Fifth Avenue (Getty, Serena Boardman)

Long exiled from his home country, bankrupt Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui could soon be exiled from his massive Lenox Hill penthouse, too.

Guo’s 15-room condo in the Sherry-Netherland hotel at 781 Fifth Avenue has hit the market asking $45 million — well below its 2015 purchase price, Bloomberg first reported.

The listing, with Sotheby’s International Realty’s Serena Boardman, comes after Genever Holdings, the limited liability company that owns the apartment, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020.

781 Fifth Avenue (Serena Boardman)

Genever Holdings purchased the 18th-floor condo for $67.5 million in 2015 and has since made multiple attempts to unload the unit, listing it for $55 million in March 2020 — down from its original $86 million ask in 2015, shortly after it was purchased.

The building’s co-op board sued Genever for unpaid maintenance charges amounting to nearly $1 million in October 2020, expressing its belief Guo was behind the company; while Guo is known to have lived there, Genever has previously claimed that Guo’s son is behind the company.

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The listing, which first appeared on StreetEasy Tuesday, details “100 linear feet overlooking Central Park” and “stunning 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline,” along with building amenities such as daily housekeeping, room service provided by Harry Cipriani, a fitness center and a barber shop.

According to Genever’s bankruptcy filing, Guo was a prominent businessman and real estate investor in China until 2014, when he fled the country after facing false corruption charges by the Chinese government. He sought political asylum in the U.S., claiming he would’ve been imprisoned in China if he hadn’t left.

Guo’s fortunes in America eventually soured, too. New York judge Barry Ostrager held him in contempt last week, Bloomberg reported, ordering him to cough up $134 million to a creditor after finding that he had arranged to move his yacht out of U.S. waters to dodge debt collection, defying an earlier court order.

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the self-proclaimed billionaire filed for personal bankruptcy as a result of the ruling. Guo listed liabilities between $100 million and $500 million in the filing, including a $254 million disputed debt to Pacific Alliance Asia Opportunity Fund LP.

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[Bloomberg] — Holden Walter-Warner