HNA Group

HNA postpones Swissport Sale, shelving second IPO in two weeks

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2018, 1:46pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2018, 1:46pm

HNA Group is postponing a planned share sale in its aircraft ground-handling company Swissport Group, roughly two weeks after abandoning a similar plan for its Swiss airline caterer Gategroup Holding AG.

Swissport Group will defer the IPO due to current market conditions, it said in a statement on Tuesday. The plan for a sale was announced in late January, just before the recent surge in volatility.

IPOs have been unravelling since then as the wild market swings made conditions for a listing more difficult to predict. Gategroup, which was set to raise as much as 1.1 billion francs (US$1.2 billion), cancelled that sale 24 hours before trading was scheduled to start because it didn’t get the money it was seeking.

Also on Tuesday, HNA said it signed a preliminary agreement with Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s state-owned investment firm, to cooperate in areas including aviation, logistics and airport infrastructure. The talks to team up come almost a year after Temasek sold its stake in Swiss duty-free store operator Dufry AG to HNA.

HNA, which started out as a regional airline, is unwinding a global debt-fuelled acquisition spree as it seeks to trim one of the largest debt piles in corporate China. The giant conglomerate plans to raise US$16 billion in the first half, a goal it may exceed after agreeing this month to divest all or part of its stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings.

Swissport was working with Credit Suisse Group AG, Barclays Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. on the IPO, according to a spokesman for the company. Credit Suisse, UBS Group AG and JPMorgan were joint bookrunners for the cancelled Gategroup IPO.