China’s fast-expanding HNA Group, parent of Hainan Airlines, has launched a bid to buy Switzerland’s airline catering firm Gategroup Holdings. The deal is being recommended by the Swiss company’s board.
The CHF1.4 billion ($1.46 billion) all-cash offer is the latest major Swiss acquisition by the Chinese aviation and shipping conglomerate, whose airline portfolio includes Hainan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines and French carrier Aigle Azur.
Last year it acquired cargo handler Swissport International; other recent purchases have included Ireland-based lessor Avolon.
HNA’s offer for Gategroup is subject to a minimum 67% acceptance and to the approval of regulatory and competition authorities. If the offer is successful, Gategroup will be delisted as a public company in Switzerland and operate as an autonomous unit within the HNA Group, which has pledged to retain the company’s headquarters in Switzerland.
HNA Group has become one of China’s largest transport, logistics and services conglomerates.