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China's HNA to buy US tech firm for US$6b

[SHANGHAI] Chinese conglomerate HNA will buy US technology distributor Ingram Micro for US$6 billion, a statement said, the latest firm to snap up a foreign entity as part of Beijing's outward investment drive.

Tianjin Tianhai Investment, a unit of HNA, will pay US$38.90 per share in an all-cash transaction, New York-listed Ingram Micro said in a statement, representing a 31 per cent premium to its Wednesday closing price.

The move comes as Beijing looks to encourage companies to invest abroad to secure raw materials and seek out reliable returns as the economy at home struggles.

State-owned China National Chemical Corp this month offered US$43 billion for Swiss pesticide and seed giant Syngenta - which would be the biggest-ever overseas acquisition by a Chinese firm if completed.

The HNA deal will be among the top ten most valuable acquisitions made by a Chinese company, according to data from research firm Dealogic.

Ingram Micro distributes products for the likes of Apple, Microsoft, IBM and Cisco with more than 200,000 customers in approximately 160 countries, it says on its website.

HNA - best known as a parent of Hainan Airlines - said the acquisition would help grow its business overseas and transform its existing logistics unit.

"With the help of Ingram Micro, HNA Group would have access to business opportunities in emerging markets, which have higher growth rates and better profitability," HNA chief executive Adam Tan said in the statement.

The transaction, which has already been approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to be completed in the second half of the year, the statement released Wednesday said.

Ingram Micro will remain headquartered in California and the current management team will stay in place, it said.


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