Mergers & Acquisitions

HNA Group moves into New Zealand with NZ$660 million purchase of UDC Finance

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 January, 2017, 5:38pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 January, 2017, 5:38pm

Highly acquisitive Chinese conglomerate HNA Group has launched its first foray into New Zealand with the acquisition of asset financing business UDC Finance for NZ$660 million.

UDC is currently owned by ANZ New Zealand, a subsidiary of ANZ Bank.

“UDC’s highly diversified portfolio offers significant growth opportunities in Australasia and supports HNA Group’s disciplined approach to expand our core tourism, logistics and financial services businesses,” said Adam Tan, vice chairman and chief executive of HNA Group in a statement.

Japanese investment bank Nomura advised HNA Group on the deal and provided financing.

HNA Group evolved out of regional airline Hainan Airways to become a global conglomerate operating in the tourism, logistics and financial services sectors. Its financial arm contains businesses in the equipment leasing, insurance, and credit services.

“HNA is well placed to invest in specialist asset finance products and systems which will help UDC expand further in the future,” said ANZ New Zealand CEO David Hisco in a statement.

Hisco also said that HNA Group would offer continued employment to all UDC staff.

HNA Group’s recent buying spree has included a range of different and high profile acquisitions.

So far it has acquired two residential sites in Hong Kong’s Kai Tak development, one of which it paid a record HK$13,600 per square foot for, while in October it announced it had purchased a 25 per cent stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings for about US$6.5 billion.

In January 2016 HNA Group acquired aircraft leasing company Avalon for US$7.6 billion, and Avalon in turn announced in October last year that it would acquire the aircraft leasing unit of CIT Group for US$10 billion.

ANZ meanwhile is focusing on simplifying its business and capital efficiency. Last week it announced the sale of its stake in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank.