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Business deals

Radisson marks latest hotel sale by China's HNA

Estimated $2bn deal continues overstretched group's effort to slim down

The logo of Radisson Blu hotel group is pictured over its main entrance in central Brussels, Belgium
Radisson operates hotels worldwide, including this one in Brussels.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- Debt-ridden Chinese conglomerate HNA Group will sell international hotel operator Radisson Holdings to a Shanghai-based hospitality group, the latest in a series of asset disposals to restore its financial health.

The buyer, Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels (Group), announced the deal for an undisclosed sum on Friday. Some Chinese news reports pegged it at around $2 billion.

The planned sale comes on the heels of an announcement on Wednesday that HNA had agreed to sell a 30% stake in Ireland-based aircraft-leasing company Avolon Holdings to Japanese financial services group Orix.

HNA acquired U.S.-based Radisson back in 2016 as the Chinese group built up a global hotel empire.

The conglomerate has shed assets in recent months as Chinese regulators sharpen their scrutiny of debt-fueled business expansion. With debt estimated to exceed $100 billion, HNA has been put on a watch list by the authorities.

The company sold real estate assets and shares in a Hilton group company earlier this year, as well as cut its stake in Deutsche Bank.

Debt is not HNA's only problem. Co-Chairman Wang Jian, a co-founder, fell to his death on a trip to France in July. 

Government-owned Jin Jiang plans to close the transaction by year-end, hoping to capitalize on Radisson's global presence to accelerate its own overseas expansion.  China's hotel sector has grown rapidly along with the economy, but the market is starting to mature.

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