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Canadian asset manager Brookfield is frontrunner to buy HNA's Swissport

DEBT-LADEN Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co is in advanced talks to sell its Swiss airport-cargo handler to a Canadian asset manager, according to people familiar with the matter, who said Swissport could fetch US$3 billion, reported Bloomberg

Canadian asset manager Brookfield is frontrunner to buy HNA's Swissport
17 October 2018 - 19:00

DEBT-LADEN Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co is in advanced talks to sell its Swiss airport-cargo handler to a Canadian asset manager, according to people familiar with the matter, who said Swissport could fetch US$3 billion, reported Bloomberg.

Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc has emerged as the preferred bidder for Swissport International, the people said, refraining to be identified given the private nature of the discussions.



The potential sale comes as HNA is facing pressure to cut the unsustainable debt levels accumulated in recent years, when it was at the forefront of the country's global buying spree.



While the Swissport talks are at an advanced stage, no final decisions have been made and they could still collapse, although other bidders remain interested in the asset, the people said.



Cerberus Capital Management was among suitors earlier pursuing an acquisition of Swissport, Bloomberg News reported in August. Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings Pte has also been studying a potential investment in Swissport as it considers deals with HNA that are complementary to its portfolio, people familiar with the matter said in April.



HNA agreed to buy Swissport from buyout firm PAI Partners for CHF2.73 billion ($2.8 billion) in 2015. Swissport had been slated for an initial public offering, though the conglomerate decided to postpone the share sale in April amid a volatile market for listings.

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