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HNA unit eyes inflight-service firm

Updated: 2016-11-10 07:42
(China Daily)

HNA unit eyes inflight-service firm

Crew members get off a plane of Hainan Airlines, a subsidiary of HNA Group Co, after landing at Nansha Islands. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A subsidiary of China's acquisitive HNA Group Co agreed to invest as much as $416 million in Global Eagle Entertainment Inc, bolstering its in-flight entertainment and internet services in a business empire spanning tourism, financial investments and logistics.

Beijing Shareco Technologies Co plans to acquire as much as 34.9 percent in Global Eagle to become its biggest shareholder, the Chinese company said on Wednesday.

They also plan to set up a venture to offer entertainment, connectivity and payment services to HNA airlines, with Global Eagle holding up to 49 percent, the Los Angeles-based company said in a separate statement.

The latest deal would add to at least $34 billion of acquisitions that billionaire Chen Feng's HNA Group companies have announced in the past year, averaging more than two purchases a month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Among recent transactions, HNA agreed to buy about 25 percent of hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc for $6.5 billion and also CIT Group Inc's $10 billion plane-leasing business in October.

Global Eagle will invest up to $150 million in the joint venture that will provide in-flight entertainment services to HNA's airlines, the Chinese company said.

HNA Group operates almost 320 airplanes, with airlines including Hainan Airlines Co, China's fourth-largest carrier, according to its website.

The equity investment in Global Eagle and formation of the joint venture are expected to be completed in 2017, the US company said.


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