Bloomberg: HNA airline assets could be put up for sale

By Damian Brett

Reports suggest China could be about to take over troubled conglomerate HNA and sell off its airline assets.

Bloomberg yesterday reported that the government of Hainan, where the company is based, is in talks to “seize control” of HNA.

Quoting sources, the news wire said that the majority of airline assets would then be sold, including China’s three largest carriers: Air China, China Southern and China Eastern.

HNA-backed Suparna Airlines is also likely to be unloaded to the Jiangsu provincial government.

In a research note, one analyst said that a decline in air travel as a result of the Coronavirus had pushed HNA to “effective bankruptcy”.

The group has for the last few years been struggling with debts as a result of an ambitious acquisition strategy.

It has been offloading a series of assets in order to stabilize the business.

Reports suggest that it is also looking for buyers for its Swissport ground handling business.

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