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Temasek eyes HNA’s Hong Kong carriers: Reuters
Posted on Tuesday, 17 April 2018 08:08
Debt-laden HNA Group may sell a stake in two carriers that have a market share of some 10.0 per cent at Hong Kong International Airport to Temasek, Reuters reported today. A person with knowledge of the situation told the news provider the two have already entered into a memorandum of understanding to consider possible aviation and logistics business partnerships. The purchase of a stake in Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong (HK) Express Airways would be a natural extension of this tie-up, especially considering the source said HNA is looking to raise money for the two carriers. It is expected the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund would only acquire a minority interest in the airlines, though talks are still in the early stages and due diligence has not yet started. Unsurprisingly, none of the companies mentioned in the article responded to requests for comment when contacted by Reuters. However, the chief executive of transport research-focused Crucial Perspective told the news provider Hong Kong Airlines has a value of roughly USD 1.10 billion and HK Express of around USD 300.00 million. Temasek is already a significant shareholder of Singapore Airlines and, according to Reuters, has been attempting to gain traction on China’s mainland market, which is currently dominated by Cathay Pacific Airways. Established in 2006, Hong Kong Airlines is a full-service airline controlling slots at Hong Kong’s stretched airport to offer nearly 40 destinations across Asia Pacific and North America, as at March 2018. The carrier currently maintains 78 interline and 18 codeshare agreements with multiple airline partners. Low-cost HK Express flies to destinations around Asia, including top cities in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Cambodia and Vietnam. Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there have been 82 deals announced by targets operating in the air transportation and airport operations sectors so far this calendar year. Companies based in Western Europe are currently the main targets in terms of volume (42 deals), followed by those in Far East and Central Asia (22). © Zephus Ltd