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HNA enlists JLL and Cushman & Wakefield in property selloff

Heavily indebted Chinese conglomerate moving to cash out investments

HNA Group became a byword for acquisitive Chinese conglomerates.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- HNA Group will work with two of the biggest U.S.-based real estate services groups, a move that likely signals faster asset disposals by the Chinese conglomerate, which has run afoul of Beijing's crackdown on debt-fueled acquisitions.

HNA said Tuesday that it will partner with Jones Lang LaSalle and Cushman & Wakefield. The announcement comes on the heels of a decision by the Chinese group to sell off residential plots on the site of Hong Kong's old Kai Tak Airport to local property investor Henderson Land Development.

JLL will use its expertise and network to support long-term development overseas while Cushman & Wakefield will provide long-term, comprehensive services for HNA's real estate segment, according to the announcement.

The Chinese conglomerate went on an overseas buying spree in recent years, taking stakes in such companies as U.S. hotel chain Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Deutsche Bank. But its finances have worsened since Beijing ordered banks to tighten scrutiny on lending to big-spending groups like HNA and Dalian Wanda.

The Chinese government went a step further last month by seizing Anbang Insurance Group, another debt-laden group, whose ousted chairman Wu Xiaohui is being prosecuted for fraud and embezzlement.

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