China intends to take over the HNA Group and sell off its airline assets as the coronavirus outbreak has struck the conglomerate’s ability to fulfill financial obligations.
The federal government of Hainan, the southern province where HNA is based, is in discussions to take control of the organization, the report stated. HNA instantly controls or holds stakes in several local carriers, along with its flagship Hainan Airlines
Under the plan, China would sell the bulk of HNA’s airline property to the nation’s three largest carriers – Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, the report stated.
The heavily bound conglomerate has restructured jet orders with Europe’s Airbus in a compromise offer that includes an order for dozens of A330neo jetliners, two individuals familiar with the matter said.
HNA Group was once one of China’s most dynamic dealmaking companies, spending $50 billion on purchases that included stakes in Deutsche Bank and Hilton Worldwide, and prime property in New York, San Francisco and Sydney.
It started unwinding lots of its purchases to shift its aim to its core airlines and tourism enterprises after it racked up high levels of debt from its shopping spree, drawing regulatory scrutiny.
However, the prices HNA has sought, and the complex structures and loans and other enterprise links that connect its holdings have made unwinding its investments troublesome, bankers stated.
In December, its chairperson Chen Feng stated the agency had delayed some salaries last year because of cash crunch; however, pledged to solve liquidity risks this year.