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Kushner family business plans $100m bond sale in Israel: Report

Kushner Companies filed paperwork with Israeli Securities Authorities earlier this month, with sale to take place in 2021, Wall Street Journal says
Jared Kushner resigned from his family's real estate business in 2016 after joining the White House
Jared Kushner resigned from his family's real estate business in 2016 after joining White House (AFP)
By MEE staff in Washington

The family business of senior White House adviser Jared Kushner has filed paperwork to raise at least $100m by selling bonds in Israel, the Wall Street Journal revealed.

Kushner Companies filed paperwork this month with the Israeli Securities Authorities to sell the bonds on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the newspaper reported on Tuesday. 

"Kushner is considering the option of issuing bonds on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange," a company spokesman told the Journal.

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"The company has had years of success working with Israeli institutions as both a borrower and a partner."

The bond sale would likely take place in the first quarter of 2021.

Kushner, who is US President Donald Trump's son-in-law, resigned from his family's real estate business in 2016 after joining the White House and sold his personal stake, but critics said this did not go far enough.

While Kushner Companies has received Israeli loans in the past from Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim, and investments from Psagot and Harel, this is the first time it has tried to raise capital on the Israeli bond market, as well as the largest unsecured bond sale by the family business.

The business has also worked with Israel's Steinmetz family, which has made a fortune as the world's leading diamond trader. Benny Steinmetz, head of the diamond business, was previously arrested over suspicions of bribery, corruption, and money laundering over one of his mines.

Israeli bond markets have become a popular centre of financing for American developers because of their favourable interest rates and the ability to issue unsecured corporate bonds.

Troubling overlap

The move will likely raise concerns and criticisms over Kushner's role in the White House and his family business. The senior adviser has this year played a critical and leading role in brokering agreements to establish diplomatic relations between Israel and four Arab countries.

Kushner was also key to the widely criticised "Deal of the Century" that offered a plan aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a family friend of the Kushners, and spent a night at the Kushner family home when the White House adviser was a teenager, according to the New York Times.

With Trump set to leave office, the president has issued a wave of pardons, including one for Kushner's father, Charles, who founded the family business and was imprisoned for tax evasion and other charges.

While Jared Kushner stepped down from his role as CEO of the company in 2016 after joining the White House, it remains unclear whether he will retake his leadership position once Trump leaves office in a few weeks.

Kushner Companies owns dozens of properties in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Ohio with an estimated value of about $7 billion. 

The business seems to be stockpiling cash in order to sweep up real estate in the aftermath of Covid-19 and its impact on the housing market, which has created many distressed properties and foreclosures.

Earlier this month, Kushner Companies put 10 multi-family properties in Maryland up for sale in a deal that may be worth as much as $800m.

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