Virgin Alantic's Boeing 737 - Credit Bloomberg
Turkey’s national flag-carrier is among companies looking at HNA’s 20 per cent stake in the Australian airline, however deliberations are preliminary and may not result in a deal.
Sunday 04, August 2019
Turkish Airlines is interested in HNA Group’s minority stake in Virgin Australia Holdings as it seeks growth in the Asia-Pacific region, reported Bloomberg.
The national carrier stated that reports that it will acquire HNA’s 20 per cent stake in Virgin Australia do not reflect the truth, adding that it shares the objectives of developing business partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region with the firm’s stakeholders.”
The troubled Chinese conglomerate was open to offers for its stake in Virgin Australia as part of efforts to cut debt. Singapore Airlines and Nanshan Capital, which each control about a fifth of Virgin’s shares, were among the companies weighing a bid.
HNA has about dozen airlines in its portfolio including Hainan Airlines Holding, Hong Kong Airlines as well as Lucky Air Co and Tianjin Airlines.
The Chinese firm is selling assets after racking up one of the nation’s biggest corporate debt loads in a global acquisition spree. It also considered selling its majority stake in oil-storage and logistics business HG Storage International as well as container-leasing unit Seaco, tech-outsourcing arm Pactera Technology International and aircraft-maintenance firm SR Technics.
Turkish Airlines has been evaluating investments in other carriers in a departure from concentrating on growth at its huge Istanbul hub as it looks to safeguard expansion as Mideast and European economies falter and a rise in protectionism weighs on global cargo flows.
The company has a longstanding holiday venture, SunExpress with Deutsche Lufthansa and it also set up a joint venture in Albania last year.
The airline plans to boost its fleet to 474 planes by 2023 including 25 Boeing 787-9s, having taken delivery of the first Dreamliner in June as part of a deal for 40 of the jets.