A Manhattan hotel once caught up in the 1MDB scandal was sold to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund after spending years on the market.
(Bloomberg) — A Manhattan hotel once caught up in the 1MDB scandal was sold to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund after spending years on the market.
The Qatar Investment Authority has paid nearly $623 million for the Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South, city property records show.
Low Taek Jho, the financier also known as Jho Low, had been part of a group that owned the 46-story property. He was convicted last year on US corruption charges for stealing billions of dollars from the Malaysian investment fund 1MDB.
The US Justice Department had sought to seize the hotel as part of its investigation of Low but ultimately came to an agreement with the owners, led by developer Steven Witkoff, to sell the hotel and hold Low’s share of the proceeds in escrow. The owners sought $1 billion in a 2017 auction and failed to attract a winning bid, keeping the building’s status in limbo for nearly six years.
Representatives from the Witkoff Group and the Qatar Investment Authority didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the sale, which was first reported by real estate intelligence firm PincusCo.
Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co. bought a $140 million stake in the hotel in 2019, a deal made possible after Low agreed to drop his claims to the property in a US forfeiture lawsuit. The Justice Department had seized his stake based on allegations that he had paid for it with money stolen from 1MDB.
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