HNA pulls out of Gategroup sale

HNA pulls out of Gategroup sale

Chinese conglomerate HNA Group pulled plans to sell a majority stake in its airline catering business Gategroup this week.

HNA planned to raise up to $1.4 billion from the public listing of 65% of Gategroup stock on the Swiss stock exchange but withdrew the listing hours before trading was due to start.

Gategroup includes the world’s largest airline catering firm Gate Gourmet.

The Chinese group also planned to list shares in aviation services group Swissport this year as it attempts to restructure substantial debt following a spate of acquisitions.

Swissport immediately reaffirmed its intention to pursue an initial public offering (IPO) in the second quarter of this year.

HNA acquired Gategroup in 2016 and Swissport in 2015.

The group owns controlling stakes in Hainan Airlines and 12 other carriers in China and Hong Kong as well as stakes in companies including Virgin Australia, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Tap Portugal, NH Hoteles and Hilton Worldwide.

It is also heavily involved in aviation leasing. The group owns Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm Avolon Holidays, acquired two years ago through a subsidiary for $2.5 billion.

But the group has been the subject of a Chinese government crackdown, following its involvement in overseas deals worth more than $40 billion in just three years.

News association Reuters reported this month that HNA had run up a $476 million bill with China’s state-owned aviation fuel company, quoting “a senior oil industry executive” as saying the problem “really deteriorated over the past several months”.

HNA unveiled plans to cut 100,000 jobs in February and is in the process of trying to sell some or all of its 25% stake in US hotel chain Park Hotels and Resorts.

Switzerland’s takeover authority ruled last year that HNA had provided “untrue or incomplete” information on its ownership at the time it acquired Gategroup.

Comments

This is a community-moderated forum.
All post are the individual views of the respective commenter and are not the expressed views of Travel Weekly.
By posting your comments you agree to accept our Terms & Conditions.

More in air