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Behind the $2B Waldorf Astoria sale

It was a deal no one saw coming when a little-known Chinese insurance company burst onto the scene this fall to buy the iconic Waldorf Astoria for nearly $2 billion. But it turned out to be the largest-ever Chinese invesment in a single Manhattan property, and one that sources described as a "chairman to chairman" deal, negotiated at the highest levels.


The pair "met several months ago, [and] began discussing ways in which they could do business," said Robert Ivanhoe, chairman of Greenberg Traurig's global real estate practice, one of several law firms which represented Anbang in the deal. "Of course, the Waldorf Astoria came to mind as one possibility, and the basic business terms of the transaction were negotiated directly between the two chairmen."

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