Chinese group HNA sells stake in TAP – Air Portugal

18 March 2019

The HNA group has divested the 9.0% stake that it indirectly held in the share capital of TAP – Air Portugal by selling its subsidiary Hainan Airlines Civil Aviation Investment Ltd, the group said in a market filing.

Hainan Airlines Civil Aviation Investment Ltd, a subsidiary of Chinese group HNA, was sold to Global Aviation Ventures LLC fund and Brazilian airline Azul for US$55 million, the group said in a statement to the market.

The company was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hainan Airlines (Hong Kong) Co., which is also 100% controlled by the HNA group and its assets are a 20% stake in Atlantic Gateway, SGPS, which in turn held a 45% stake in TAP’s share capital.

Following a privatisation process, the Atlantic Gateway consortium, owned mostly by Brazilian air carrier Azul, held 45% of TAP’s capital, with the remaining 55% divided into 5% for workers and 50% for the Portuguese state.

The subsidiary of the Chinese group was sold in two lots – one of 54.55% to the Global Aviation Ventures LLC fund for US$30 million and a remainder of 45.45% to airline Azul for US$25 million, according to the statement released in Shanghai.

Reuters reported that of the 20% of Atlantic Gateway held by HNA 9.09% are in the hands of Azul, which gives an indirect position of 4.09% of TAP to the Brazilian carrier.

The other part, corresponding to 10.91% of Atlantic Gateway (equivalent to 4.91% of TAP) goes to David Neeleman, who now has a majority of the private consortium’s capital – Neeleman holds 50.91%, Azul 9.09% and Portuguese businessman Humberto Pedrosa has 40%.

The HNA group had, for less than a month, increased its stake in Atlantic Gateway from 12% to 20% at a time when it was already experiencing liquidity problems and is currently under the supervision of a group of creditors led by the China Development bank. (Macauhub)