March 10, 2019 / 8:17 AM / 4 months ago

HNA Group to sell stake in Hong Kong firm to Blackstone for $894 mln

HONG KONG, March 10 (Reuters) - China's HNA Group is selling a controlling stake in its Hong Kong-listed construction firm to Blackstone Group for HK$7.02 billion ($894.31 million), according to a regulatory filing, the latest asset disposal by the embattled Chinese conglomerate.

Hong Kong International Construction Investment Management Group said in a filing late on Friday that Times Holdings II Ltd, a company controlled by Blackstone, has agreed to buy all the shares owned by HNA Group's finance arm HNA Finance I, or 69.54 percent of the firm.

The purchase price represents HK$3 per share, a 14.5 percent premium over Hong Kong International Construction's Friday closing price of HK$2.62. Blackstone has also offered to purchase the remainder of the shares in the market at the same price for a maximum of HK$3.7 billion, in compliance with exchange rules, though it does not intend to privatise the company, according to the same filing.

Faced with soaring debts and China's crackdown on aggressive dealmaking firms, HNA Group has been offloading its assets that spans property to aviation.

Hong Kong International Construction, a property construction and investment firm, last month sold its last land parcel in Hong Kong.

HNA is in active discussion to sell its budget airline Hong Kong Express to Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways , the companies said last week.

$1 = 7.8496 Hong Kong dollars Reporting by Sijia Jiang; editing by Christian Schmollinger

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