Market volatility is making it more difficult for HNA Group to sell off assets and pay off its massive debt, although the sale of its stake in Hilton Worldwide will likely generate enough money to get the company back on the right track.
HNA Group Co. is postponing a planned share sale in its aircraft ground handling company Swissport Group, roughly two weeks after abandoning a similar plan for its Swiss airline caterer Gategroup Holding AG.
Swissport Group, in a statement Tuesday, said it will defer the IPO “due to current market conditions.” The plan for an IPO was announced in late January, just before the recent surge in volatility.
IPOs have been unraveling since then as the wild market swings made conditions for a listing more difficult to predict. Gategroup, which was set to raise as much as 1.1 billion francs ($1.2 billion), canceled that sale 24 hours before trading was scheduled to start because it didn’t get the money it was seeking.
HNA, which started out as a fledgling regional airline, is unwinding a global debt-fueled acquisition spree as it seeks to trim one of the largest debt piles in corporate China. The giant conglomerate plans to raise $16 billion in the first half, a goal it may exceed after agreeing this month to divest all or part of its stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.
Swissport was working with Credit Suisse Group AG, Barclays Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. on the IPO, according to a spokesman for the company. Credit Suisse, UBS Group AG and JPMorgan were joint bookrunners for the canceled Gategroup IPO.
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Photo credit: The HNA Group offices in China. The travel giant is trying to raise billions to pay off its mounting debts. Qilai Shen / Bloomberg