Hainan Air to sell stake to Temasek

By BLOOMBERG

BEIJING • Hainan Airlines Holding Co is seeking to sell shares listed in Shanghai to investors including a unit of Singapore’s sovereign investment fund Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, according to a statement to the stock exchange on Saturday.

The air carrier said it plans to raise as much as seven billion yuan (RM4.2 billion) by selling as much as 20% of its shares to no more than 10 investors, including Temasek Fullerton Alpha Pte Ltd. The sale proceeds will be used to fund plane purchases, aviation training, maintenance and airport business.

A spokesman for Temasek confirmed the filing and declined to comment further.

Hainan Air’s move is seen to be aimed at funding a restructuring exercise to consolidate its aviation assets from its debtladen parent HNA Group Co.

The company also said it is looking to buy stakes in aviation training, maintenance business and airlines, valued at 10.5 billion yuan, from HNA and its subsidiaries.

Its controlling shareholder will change from Grand China Air Co to HNA Group Co and parties acting in concert, according to the statement. The ultimate controlling party will change from the Hainan branch of State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission to the Cihang Foundation.

The restructuring plan comes two months after HNA and Temasek said they are exploring partnerships in areas including aviation, logistics and airport infrastructure.

Concerns about HNA’s strained finances have eased this year after a flurry of asset sales, including the US$6.5 billion (RM26 billion) stake sale in Hilton Worldwide Inc, which helped many of HNA’s bonds rebound from their record lows.

Hainan Air is one of seven HNA listed units with a combined market value of US$31 billion that have suspended trading on their shares. The carrier said in a separate statement on Saturday that its shares will remain suspended.