China’s HNA mulls listing Swiss airline caterer Gategroup shares on Zurich exchange

The HNAGroup Co. building stands in Beijing, China, on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, which is disposing of assets after a debt-fuelled buying spree, is now considering a public listing for its Swiss airline caterer Gategroup Holding, the subsidiary said on Tuesday.

Gategroup, purchased by HNA last year for $1.5 billion, said in a statement that the SIX SwissExchange in Zurich was being considered as a potential listing location.

“The structure and timing of any offering or listing are yet to be determined,” Gategroup said in a statement.

HNA is expected to work with UBS and Credit Suisse on the planned initial public offering, people close to the matter said.

HNA and the banks were not immediately available for comment.

HNA Group Chairman Adam Tan’s plans for Gategroup, which was listed in Switzerland beforeHNA bought it, come as he unloads some investments and real estate to improve liquidity and to conform with Chinese policies after making deals valued at more than $50 billion over two years.

Those transactions, which included stakes in Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc and Deutsche Bank, have prompted increased scrutiny from regulators and bankers due to announced changes toHNA‘s shareholding structure and its use of leverage.

Last week, Swiss regulators separately announced they were evaluating what they called “untrue” or “incomplete” information given by the Chinese group during its takeover of Gategroup in 2016.

The Swiss Takeover Board has enlisted Ernst & Young to examine whether the controlling group complied with minimum price rules and best price regulations in the deal, with HNA responding “the decision … does not have any impact on the validity of the takeover.”

HNA has said it is cooperating with the Swiss board’s officials.

Also read:

China’s HNA considers asset sales, signals reversal of buying spree

HNA gave false detail on Gategroup bid, rules Swiss regulator

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
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