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China's HNA said in US$2.21b deal to buy NYC office tower

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Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co is leading a deal to acquire Manhattan's 245 Park Ave for US$2.21 billion

[NEW YORK] Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co is leading a deal to acquire Manhattan's 245 Park Ave for US$2.21 billion, one of the highest prices ever paid for a New York skyscraper, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said.

HNA may be involved with at least one partner on the purchase, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the transaction is private. The 158,000-square-metre office tower, with tenants including JPMorgan Chase & Co, is being sold by Brookfield Property Partners LP and its 49 per cent partner in the property, the New York State Teachers' Retirement System.

The deal, should it be completed, would bring Chinese ownership to the heart of midtown Manhattan's financial core: the towers just north of Grand Central Terminal along Park Avenue.

JPMorgan's principal executive office is at 270 Park, diagonally across East 47th Street from 245 Park. Three blocks to the north is the Waldorf Astoria hotel, which China's Anbang Insurance Group Co, acquired for US$1.95 billion in 2015 and is now converting to mostly condominiums.

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Clement Wei, a spokesman for HNA, didn't immediately reply to an email sent before regular business hours in Haikou, where the company is based.

HNA has made a string of acquisitions lately, totalling more than US$30 billion since last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Its targets have included hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, technology company Ingram Micro Inc, asset manager SkyBridge Capital and earlier this month the company that runs Caijing magazine's website.

The 245 Park Ave purchase was reported earlier Monday on the website of The Real Deal, a publication that covers New York real estate.

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