China’s Hainan Airlines, a subsidiary of the HNA group, has completed the purchase of a 23.7 percent stake in Azul Brazilian Airlines for which it paid US$450 million, indicates a statement released on Thursday.
The purchase in Brazil’s third largest airline makes Hainan Airlines the largest shareholder, able to appoint three members of the company’s board of directors.
The HNA group is a conglomerate with interests in aviation and tourism. In May it announced that it had acquired a 13 percent stake in the airline Virgin Australia. More recently, in June it announced the purchase of 25 percent of the convertible bond issue of TAP Air Portugal for the sum of 30 million euros.
The latter deal was done via Azul (company in the Atlantic Gateway consortium, a TAP shareholder), enabling the Chinese group to increase to 23 percent the economic interests it controls in TAP and to have a seat on the board of directors.
Also, in July Hainan Airlines spent US$1.5 billion to buy Gategroup Holding AG, the world’s second biggest aviation catering company. (Macauhub/BR/CN/PT)