HNA Group, the acquisitive owner of China’s fourth-largest airline, has approached the biggest shareholder of CWT Ltd. to express interest in a possible bid for control of the Singapore logistics company, according to a Bloomberg report.
The Loi family that controls CWT will discuss HNA’s interest in coming days and could enter exclusive talks with the Chinese company as soon as next week, people with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Shares of CWT has a market value of about $931 million.
A deal would be the latest in a string of acquisitions by the owner of Hainan Airlines, HNA Group, said last month it will buy Swiss airline catering company Gategroup Holding AG for 1.4 billion francs ($1.4 billion) and agreed to purchase closely-held Carlson Hotels Inc., gaining hospitality brands including Radisson and Park Plaza.
HNA, based on a tropical island in southern China dotted with beach resorts, has assets valued at more than 600 billion yuan ($92.2 billion), according to its website. The Chinese group runs businesses including hotels, supermarkets, department stores, insurance firms, ship repairs, logistics and airports that generated combined revenue of nearly 190 billion yuan last year, the website shows.
CWT said in August that its controlling shareholder was conducting a strategic review of its business and assets, which could lead to a deal involving the Singapore-listed company.
HNA’s leasing arm in January completed the acquisition of Avolon Holdings Ltd. at an enterprise value of $7.6 billion, forming the world’s fourth-largest aircraft lessor by asset value. Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co., a Shanghai-traded affiliate of HNA, announced a $6 billion takeover of U.S. software distributor Ingram Micro Inc. in February.
CWT, founded in 1970, employs about 6,000 people and offers services including commodity logistics, freight forwarding, warehousing and defense procurement, according to its website. It also controls MRI Group Pte, a trader of base metals and petroleum products, and helps manage Cache Logistics Trust, which owns industrial property in Singapore, Australia and China.
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