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HNA shelving US$1b sale of container unit Seaco: sources

Hong Kong

HNA Group Co has shelved a sale process for its container leasing business Seaco after failing to reach an agreement on valuation, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Chinese conglomerate is no longer in active discussions about a sale and plans to keep the business for now, they said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

HNA had been seeking more than US$1 billion for Seaco, which is controlled by the group's Shenzhen-listed Bohai Leasing Co unit, the people said.

HNA had earlier shortlisted Apollo Global Management, China Cinda Asset Management Co, I Squared Capital and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc in the bidding for Seaco. At least some of the suitors, including Cinda and I Squared, decided not to submit final offers by the deadline at the end of January after balking at HNA's asking price, according to the people.

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The Chinese group has been working with an adviser on the potential sale of Seaco since last year, people with knowledge of the matter said. A representative for HNA declined to comment. Representatives for Cinda and I Squared didn't immediately respond to requests for comment, while representatives for Apollo and SMFG said they couldn't immediately comment.

HNA has agreed to sell more than US$20 billion of assets since 2018 in a bid to reduce its debt pile. The troubled conglomerate is also pursuing other disposals, including a sale of its tech outsourcing arm Pactera Technology International Ltd and Swiss aircraft maintenance firm SR Technics. BLOOMBERG

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