Hainan Airlines sells remaining stake in Brazil’s Azul for $306m

Hainan Airlines
FILE PHOTO: A customer (L) stands in front of a counter of Hainan Airlines at an airport in Haikou, Hainan province, China, July 29, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

China’s Hainan Airlines said on Friday it had sold its remaining stake in Brazilian airline Azul SA in a deal that netted it $306.25 million after deducting underwriting fees.

The carrier, part of financially troubled Chinese conglomerate HNA, said in a statement that it had sold 19.38 million American Depositary Shares at $16.15 per unit, equivalent to 58.14 million preference shares, and no longer held any shares in the Brazilian carrier after the deal.

The buyers were a number of U.S. institutional investors who were not connected to Hainan Airlines, it said, adding that the sale would help it optimise its asset structure, maintain good liquidity of assets, and focus on its core business.

The company had in April sold part of its stake in Azul to a subsidiary of United Airlines’ parent United Continental Holdings for $138.3 million. In June, it said it planned to sell its remaining shareholding.

Hainan Airlines paid $450 million for a 23.7 percent stake in Azul in 2016.

HNA has been selling overseas real estate and some of its biggest financial and strategic investments following a $50 billion acquisition spree over the past two years.

Sao Paolo-based Azul is Brazil’s third-largest airline after LATAM Airlines Group SA’s Brazilian unit and Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA.

Reuters