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China's HNA to shed 9 offshore office, hotel properties

Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co. Ltd. has placed nine offshore office and hotel real estate assets up for sale, Mingtiandi reported, citing a divestment list obtained by local digital news outlet The Paper.

HNA's nine properties comprises five grade A office assets in London and New York, as well as four hotels spanning the U.S., Europe, Australia and the south Pacific, the Oct. 14 report added. The office properties hitting the market include Reuters' London headquarters and Tishman Speyer's US$3.2 billion The Spiral complex in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Reuters headquarters at 30 South Colonnade in London's Canary Wharf business district was picked up by HNA in 2015 for £235 million. Additionally, the company is also looking to sell its 17 Columbus Courtyard office asset at Canary Wharf that it purchased at £140 million in 2016. The news outlet cited earlier Bloomberg reports that both properties could possibly be sold at a loss to potential buyers.

In New York, aside from The Spiral office development, HNA is also looking to dispose of a US$767 million project that is currently being constructed and a stake in the 10-floor The Wheeler office project in Brooklyn, in which it committed US$207 million, with US$168 million already contributed.

The hotel properties in the nine-asset list include the 165-room Cassa Hotel on New York's 45th Street that HNA picked up for US$130 million in 2012; the Aitken Hill conference center in Melbourne it purchased for A$100 million in 2016; a resort on Bora Bora in the south Pacific; and the 187-room Tangla Hotel in Brussels, which opened in May 2017.

The nine assets are part of the debt-laden Chinese company's plans to sell 82 properties valued at a total of at least US$11 billion, both domestically and abroad. HNA's latest attempts to shed its real estate assets comes on the back of one of its units defaulting on a 300 million-yuan principal of a trust loan that matured Sept. 10, with the group's total debt standing at US$95 billion as at June-end, Mingtiandi reported. The June debt valuation marked a trim of 10.7% from its debt levels at 2017-end.

As of Oct. 12, US$1 was equivalent to 6.92 yuan.