China’s HNA Group makes shipowning return with double cape swoop
HNA Technology has entered into an agreement to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Ingram Micro with the US-based investment firm Platinum Equity as the company is eagerly looking to address its heavy debt problems.
In 2016, HNA Technology, formerly Tianhai Investment, and formerly known as Tianjin Marine, bought Ingram Micro for $6 billion. The deal increased the Shanghai Stock Exchange's concerns as Tianhai Investment's total assets stood at about $1.94 billion at the time.
Eventually the company funded the acquisition with a significant number of loans.
Tianhai Investment disposed of its entire shipping business later in the year and turned its attention to technology for the supply chain.
HNA Technology reported in early December that the company had defaulted on a total of $1.35 billion of loans borrowed for the acquisition of Ingram Micro and the company had been negotiating with a number of financial institutions to delay payments.
HNA Technology said Ingram Micro's sale would ease the financial burden of the company and the company is preparing a market change to increase its profitability.
HNA Technology is looking to re-enter the shipowning sector following the disposal of its IT solution firm.
HNA Technology announced the purchase of two 2012-built 176,000 dwt capesize Bulk Harvest and Bulk Joyance bulkers from Puhang Leasing for RMB145.5m ($22.2m) each, far higher than the estimate of about $17m on the vessels by VesselsValue.
Meanwhile the company has added a range of maritime companies, including international liner shipping, to its business reach.
With total liabilities of RMB700bn ($107bn), the HNA Group is dealing with a massive debt crisis. The defunct subsidiary Grand China Logistics, one of the highest profile boom and bust shipping cases in China, led HNA's previous shipping foray.
Maritime Business World