HNA pulls plan to float Swissport

HNA pulls plan to float Swissport

Image via Imran’s Photography / Shutterstock.com

HNA has abandoned plans to float air-services group Swissport on the Swiss stock market after pulling plans to list airline catering business Gategroup, also in Switzerland.

In a statement, Swissport said the planned IPO by HNA would be deferred “due to current market conditions”.

Swissport provides ground services and cargo handling to airlines. The company handled 265 million passengers and reported revenues of €2.8 billion last year.

It is reported Swissport has made a series of short-term loans to Chinese aviation and shipping conglomerate HNA, which is attempting to restructure $20-billion worth of debt following a spate of acquisitions.

The HNA Group includes Hainan Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines which operate flights between Europe and China.

HNA aimed to raise $1.4 billion from the Gategroup IPO at the end of March but pulled this at the last minute.

It acquired Swissport in 2015 and Gategroup in 2016, along with a 25% stake in hotel group Hilton Worldwide Holdings for which it paid $6.5 billion.

The group also owns stakes in travel and hospitality companies including Virgin Australia, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Tap Portugal and NH Hoteles.

Hilton announced plans this week to raise $500 million to fund the repurchase of 10 million shares from HNA, which is seeking to sell its stake in Hilton-owned Park Hotels and Resorts.

Switzerland’s takeover authority ruled last year that HNA had provided “untrue or incomplete” information on its ownership at the time it acquired Gategroup.

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