Chinese aviation and shipping conglomerate HNA Group has failed in its latest attempt to acquire the London City Airport, owned by Global Infrastructure Partners in USA. It is a reversal of fortune after the group made successful global acquisitions to the tune of USD 17 billion in the past year.
The central London airport was sold to a consortium of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, Borealis Infrastructure, AIMCo and Kuwait Investment Authority, for about USD 2.8 billion.
Bloomberg reported that the HNA Group bought at least $17 billion worth of assets in the past year. Among the latest acquisitions by HNA Group were:
* February 2016: Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co., an HNA Group company, announced a $6 billion takeover offer for Santa Ana, California-based software distributor Ingram Micro Inc.
* January 2016: Bohai Leasing Co., 44 percent owned by HNA Group, completed its $7.6 billion acquisition of Avolon Holdings Ltd., paving the way for the formation of the world’s fourth-largest air leasing company by asset value.
* HNA Group also bought a stake in Uber China Ltd. for an undisclosed amount.
* November 2015: HNA Group said it would buy 23.7 percent of Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras SA for 1.7 billion reais ($430 million) to become the biggest individual shareholder in Brazil’s third-largest carrier.
* August 2015: The group completed its purchase of 30 South Colonnade, an office building in Canary Wharf. The deal “is an important step for building its European portfolio, and will also promote the international image of HNA,” the company said.
* July 2015: HNA Group agreed to buy airport luggage handler Swissport International Ltd. from PAI Partners SAS for about 2.73 billion Swiss francs ($2.8 billion).
* June 2015: HNA Group bought 15 percent of Red Lion Hotels Corp. from a Seattle-based investment fund run by Columbia Pacific Advisors.
According to a report of China Securities Journal, HNA Group announced on February 24 that it was planning a private placement of no more than 4.624 billion shares, at RMB 3.58 per share, to raise about RMB 16.55 billion, in which RMB 11 billion would be used for buying 37 Boeing or Airbus planes while the rest RMB 5.55 billion was earmarked for acquiring a 48.21% stake of Tianjin Airlines.
Another report of 21st Century Business Herald said that the conglomerate announced on February 25 that it would start a company named HNA Ecotechnology Co., Ltd. The Eco-Tech company would be positioned to be a high technology holding group, indicating that the group is launching into another industry area in addition to its existing presence in aviation, tourism, manufacturing, logistics and finance.