It is unclear if Hunter Biden will keep his stake, which is estimated to be worth millions, in a private equity firm bankrolled by the Chinese government after opting to resign from its board of directors.
The younger Biden, who has a history of profiting off deals with foreign governments that are inaccessible to average American businessmen, announced on Sunday he would resign from the board of Bohai Harvest RST (BHR) at the end of this month. The move comes amid mounting scrutiny of not only Hunter Biden, but the company itself.
As Peter Schweizer, senior contributor at Breitbart News, revealed in his bestselling book — Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends — Hunter Biden inked the multibillion dollar deal that created BHR with a subsidiary of the state-owned Bank of China in 2013. The deal, which was the first of its kind, created BHR as a private equity fund to invest Chinese money overseas.
The timing of the lucrative deal has been brought into question as it came only 12 days after Hunter visited China with his father aboard Air Force Two. Officially, the then-vice president was visiting the country amid escalating tensions over islands in the South China Sea and decided to bring his granddaughter and son along. In a March 2018 interview with Breitbart News Tonight, however, Schweizer detailed the political machinations that preceded Hunter Biden’s $1.5 billion venture with China:
“In December of 2013, Vice President Joe Biden flies to Asia for a trip, and the centerpiece for that trip is a visit to Beijing, China. To put this into context, in 2013, the Chinese have just exerted air rights over the South Pacific, the South China Sea. They basically have said, ‘If you want to fly in this area, you have to get Chinese approval. We are claiming sovereignty over this territory.’ Highly controversial in Japan, in the Philippines, and in other countries. Joe Biden is supposed to be going there to confront the Chinese. Well, he gets widely criticized on that trip for going soft on China. For basically not challenging them, and Japan and other countries are quite upset about this.”
Since its creation, BHR has invested heavily in energy and defense projects across the globe. The younger Biden, who owns a ten percent stake in the company, has claimed to not have received any “compensation” from BHR.
“Hunter has not received any compensation for being on BHR’s board of directors. He has not received any return on his investment; there have been no distributions to BHR shareholders since Hunter obtained his equity interest,” read a statement released by the Biden family lawyer on Sunday announcing Hunter’s decision to resign from BHR’s board.
It is unclear, however, if Hunter will keep his equity in BHR after he departs its board of directors. Representatives for the Biden family have claimed his ten percent stake is only worth $420,000. Ethics watchdogs, though, estimate the true value to be worth millions.
“It is difficult to imagine, if not incomprehensible, that a 10% stake in those economics is worth only $420K,” Steven Kaplan of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business told FactCheck.org. “The distinction they appear to be making is they capitalized the management company with $4.2 M even if the fund manages $2 B. The value of that management company is likely far in excess of $4.2 M if they are managing $2 B.”
The statement released on Sunday by the Biden family made no mention of what would happen with Hunter’s ownership stake.
In recent weeks, BHR, has struggled to explain its ties to Hunter Biden. The company has “repeatedly declined to elaborate on the younger Biden’s role at the firm” via phone, email, and “visits to the office,” according to the South China Morning Post. Although BHR promised earlier this month that it was weighing how to explain its relationship with Hunter Biden, the company has since gone silent.