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HNA revisits Seaco sale: Bloomberg
Posted on Friday, 06 September 2019 11:54
HNA is revisiting plans to sell Seaco for more than USD 1.00 billion to help pay down debt, though it may accept lower bids, in spite of ditching talks earlier this year on valuation disagreements, Bloomberg reported.

Sources close to the situation, who declined to be named as the process is private, told the news provider the troubled Chinese conglomerate is keen to work with advisors once again to find possible buyers.

Bloomberg previously reported that Apollo, China Cinda Asset Management, I Squared Capital and Sumitomo were interested in the sale, though it is not known now whether they would step back up to the plate.

Formerly named GE Seaco, the Barbados-based container leasing and sales company was formed in 1998 by General Electric and Sea Containers on a 50:50 basis.

The latter partner filed for Chapter 11 in 2006 and had all its interests, including its equity stake in the joint venture, transferred to a new entity named SeaCo.

General Electric and its partner sold GE Seaco to HNA and private equity firm Bravia Capital in 2011 for an enterprise value of USD 2.50 billion.

Today, Seaco is fully owned by Global Sea Containers Ltd (GSCL), a Bermuda-incorporated company indirectly100.0 per cent controlled by Bohai Capital, a publicly-traded global leasing subsidiary of HNA.

It rents out or sells dry freight and refrigerated shipping containers, tanks, swapbodies and specialised types such as palletwides, flatracks and bulkers.

HNA is revisiting plans to sell Seaco to address liquidity issues, not least the fact cash and equivalents were down at CNY 50.40 billion (USD 7.05 billion) by 30th June 2019 from CNY 128.10 billion on 30th June 2018, according to an interim report cited by Bloomberg.

In contrast, the group only reduced debt by 3.0 per cent to CNY 525.60 billion by 30th June 2019.

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