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Civil Aviation
China’s HNA to acquire Gategroup
China’s HNA to acquire Gategroup
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| Staff writer 324 mots

China’s HNA to acquire Gategroup

HNA Group is pursuing its international development through the acquisition of Swiss airline catering specialist Gateway Holding, owner of Gate Gourmet. The two companies have entered into a definitive transaction agreement under which HNA will launch an all-cash public tender offer for all publicly held registered shares of Gategroup at a price of CHF 53 per share. On a fully diluted basis, the offer price values the Swiss company at approximately CHF 1.4bn.

Including a previously agreed dividend, the offer price represents a 37.8% premium to the volume weighted average price during the last 60 trading days prior to the pre-announcement of the offer and a 20.9% premium to the closing share price as of 8th April 2016.

HNA — which is active in the aviation, real estate, financial services, tourism and logistics sectors — has interests in a string of airlines including its flagship carrier Hainan Airlines, Africa World Airlines, France’s Aigle Azur, Azul of Brazil and South African carrier Comair. HNA Aviation formed the world's first alliance of low-cost carriers, U-FLY Alliance, in January of this year.

Upon completion of the public tender offer, HNA says it will delist Gategroup from the SIX Swiss Exchange and operate the company as an autonomous unit within the HNA group. The Chinese group has declared its commitment to retaining Gategroup's headquarters in Switzerland and supporting the group's Gateway 2020 strategy as a “responsible industrial owner with a long-term investment horizon”. Gategroup's Board of Directors unanimously supports the public tender offer and recommends that shareholders accept the offer.

HNA — which acquired Swiss ground handling specialist Swissport in February — will provide Gategroup with its experience in airline catering as well as access to Asian markets.

Earlier this year, Gategroup announced that it had completed the acquisition of Inflight Service Group, a transaction that was expected to increase Gategroup’s revenue by CHF250m. The Swiss company has also expressed interest in acquiring Air France catering subsidiary Servair.

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