HNA to boost stakes in Yangtze River Express and TAP Portugal
Hainan Airlines plans to increase its holding in Yangtze River Express to 11.58% for RMB 915.2 million and raise its stake in TAP Portugal to 23% for EUR 30 million.
HNA-affiliated Hainan Airlines announced on July 18 that the company planned to fork out RMB 915.2 million to increase its share of Yangtze River Express from 0.37% to 11.58%, and another EUR 30 million to raise its stake in TAP Portugal to 23%.
Another HNA affiliate HNA Logistics will be making an even bigger investment in Yangtze River Express. Its investment of RMB 2.8248 billion will boost its stake in the Chinese freight carrier to 35.13%, according to the announcement. HNA Logistics will become the largest shareholder of Yangtze River Express after the private placement. Hainan Airlines said that the deal will strengthen the synergy of the company’s air route network in Shanghai and eastern China.
Yangtze River Express was launched on July 15, 2002. The Shanghai-based cargo airline is operating a fleet of 25 aircraft flying more than 40 international and domestic routes as of December 2015.
Hainan Airlines’ increased holding in TAP Portugal was achieved by purchasing the convertible bond of the Lisbon-based Portuguese flagcarrier from Azul Brazilian Airlines. The deal increased Hainan Airlines’ interests in TAP by 13.06%, to a total of 23%, and entitles Hainan Airlines one seat with voting right on the TAP’s 12-strong board of directors.
The TAP investment was interpreted as the Hainan-based carrier’s ambitious step to spearhead market expansion in Europe and Africa. Given TAP’s financial woes, Hainan Airlines conceded that the investment was more important as a strategic move than a financial investment. (Translated by Jerry)