China’s Hainan Airlines is selling the remainder of its stake in Brazil's Azul Airlines—part of Hainan parent HNA Group's continuing efforts to raise cash and pay down debt.

Hainan's stake sits at about 17% following its recent divestiture of about 4% to United Airlines. The deal is expected to net Hainan about $320 million based on the price of the shares being sold—American depository shares, or ADSs. Azul's ADSs, sold on the New York Stock Exchange, opened trading at $17/share on June 27.

"The offering is part of Hainan’s strategic plan, which includes capital raising initiatives, selected divestments, as well as investments in airlines and in the aviation services sector," Azul said in a statement. "Azul and Hainan do not expect the offering to result in any material change to the strategic plan or commercial relationship between Azul and Hainan."

Though Azul did note that “following the completion of the offering, Hainan will no longer have the right to appoint any directors to Azul’s board of directors.”

Hainan purchased a 23.7% stake in Azul in August 2016 with a $450 million investment.  More recently, HNA Group has been selling stakes in airlines and other assets—many of them purchased in a buying spree that dates back to 2012—to help reduce mounting debt.

Azul said that it is neither selling nor profiting from the Hainan sale. 

"This offering will not have any dilution effect on Azul’s current shareholders," the airline added.

Sean Broderick, sean.broderick@aviationweek.com