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China's HNA Group, strategic investors to offer cash and shares to repay debt -sources

China's HNA Group, strategic investors to offer cash and shares to repay debt -sources

FILE PHOTO: The HNA Group logo is seen on the building of HNA Plaza in Beijing, China February 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee//File Photo

BEIJING :China's Liaoning Fangda Group and Hainan Development Holdings will offer cash and equity to settle debt owed to retail investors in HNA Group, four sources told Reuters, in the latest step to restructure the bankrupt company.

The details were disclosed by a Chinese government team that is carrying out HNA's restructuring at a meeting on Wednesday organised for creditors, two of the sources said.

During the meeting, retail investors were told that Hainan Development Holdings, owned by the provincial government of Hainan where HNA is headquartered, will offer 200 million yuan (US$30.93 million) in cash to settle the debt, the two sources said.

It will also offer 500 million shares of HNA Infrastructure Investment Group that it holds to settle the debt, they added.

The team did not verbally provide details of Fangda's investment during the meeting, but three of the four sources said the Chinese industrial conglomerate will provide 3 billion yuan in cash towards resolving the retail investors' debts, citing details HNA had shared with other investors.

The sources also said HNA Group itself will give 1.7 billion yuan in cash. The remaining debts will be repaid by shares of Hainan Airlines, HNA Infrastructure Investment Group and CCOOP Group, they said.

All four sources declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.

HNA, Hainan and Fangda did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

In the 2010s, HNA used a US$50 billion global acquisition spree, mainly fueled by debt, to build an empire with stakes in businesses from Deutsche Bank [DBKGn.DE] to Hilton Worldwide.

But its spending drew scrutiny from the Chinese government and overseas regulators. As concerns grew over its mounting debts, it sold assets such as airport services company Swissport and electronics distributors Ingram Micro to focus on its airline and tourism businesses.

After creditors filed a petition, a Hainan court placed the once highly acquisitive HNA in bankruptcy administration in February and in March it gave the go-ahead for 321 related companies to be merged as part of the conglomerate's restructuring.

Under the latest restructuring plan, HNA will receive strategic investment of 38 billion yuan after its restructuring, which will go to eleven of its entities including its flagship carrier Hainan Airlines , Reuters has reported.

Hainan Airlines said in September that Fangda will become a strategic investor and possibly its controlling shareholder. It did not disclose how much Fangda was investing at the time.

(US$1 = 6.4662 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Binbin Huang, Cheng Leng in Beijing, Kane Wu in Hong Kong and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Jane Wardell)

Source: Reuters


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