The D.C. mansion being rented by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner is owned by a Chilean businessman whose company is embroiled in a battle with the U.S. government over a Minnesota mine possibly worth billions, the Wall Street Journal reports.
A company owned by Andronico Luksic, a member of one of Chile’s wealthiest families (Forbes estimates they’re worth billions), purchased the Kalorama home last year, after President Donald Trump’s election victory.
The Obama administration blocked a move by a Luksic-owned company to build a copper-and-nickel mine in Minnesota in 2016, and the company is hoping the new Trump administration reverses the decision.
Rodrigo Terre, Luksic’s relative and the manager of his personal investments, told the Wall Street Journal that the house was purchased as an investment and it is a coincidence that Ivanka Trump and Kushner moved in.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Luksic Bought the D.C. Home for $5.5 Million in Late December Through a Company He Controls
Luksic’s company, Tracy DC Real Estate, Inc, bought the house in December for $5.5 million, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Rodrigo Terre, who manages the company, says they also bought two smaller apartments for about $1.8 million total. Terre said the company “saw an opportunity” after Trump’s victory because of turnover among government employees and others wanting to move to D.C.
The real estate company also owns properties in Boston and Miami.
2. He Says He Doesn’t Know the Trump Family & the White House Says Ivanka & Jared Are Paying ‘Fair-Market’ Rent
Luksic took to Twitter to dispute the story, saying he doesn’t know the Trump family and only met Donald Trump once, at a Patriots game four or five years ago. He said the Wall Street Journal report conflates two independent things.
A White House spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are paying “fair market value,” for rent, but did not disclose the total.
Rodrigo Terre also told the Journal they are paying “absolute market value.”
The house wasn’t listed for rent, but Terre said before they closed on it, he told his real estate agent to tell other agents it would be available for rent. A spokeswoman for the broker used by Trump and Kushner told the Journal the “broker put it all together” and the couple didn’t know about the homeowner’s business interests.
3. A U.S.-Based Unit of Luksic’s Family-Owned Mining Company Is Suing the Government Over a Denial of 2 Key Mineral Leases
An American-based unit of Luksic’s family-run company filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government in September over the Department of the Interior’s preliminary decision to deny the renewal of two key mineral leases, according to court documents, which you can read above.
Part of the mining project would sit on U.S. Forest Service land adjacent to the government-protected Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Interior Department issued a formal denial of the leases in December, despite the lawsuit, citing the risk of “serous and irreplaceable harm to this unique, iconic and irreplaceable wilderness area.”
Attorneys from the Justice Department recently sought a 60-day delay on the lawsuit over the leases, asking for time to brief the new administration. The Interior Department told the Journal it is “something we are actively reviewing.”
4. He Became the Chairman of the Luksic Group in 2013
Luksic, 62, became the chairman of his family’s company, Luksic Group, in 2013, when his brother, Guillermo died.
His father, also named Andronico Luksic, built the massive business empire as the son of a Croatian immigrant in Chile. He died in 2005 at the age of 78, according to the New York Times.
The company includes holdings in mining, banking, telecommunications and manufacturing. They also own beer companies and beach resorts, according to the New York Times.
5. He Was Educated in the United States, Has Climbed the Highest Peak on Every Continent & Is Married With 5 Children
Andronico Luksic Craig was born in northern Chile on April 16, 1954. His family moved to Santiago when he was 6. He attended high school in the United States, at the Dublin School for Boys, in New Hampshire, and then studied business at Babson College in Boston. He did not graduate from Babson, instead returning to Chilse to work for his family’s Ford dealerships.
He is married to Patricia Lederer Tcherniak, who is from Argentina, and they have five children.
Luksic is a mountain climber, and reached the peak of Mount Everest when he was 50, in 2004. He has accomplished the “Seven Summits of the World,” by climbing to the highest peak on every continent.