China’s HNA Group has added a new prize to its European spending spree with the acquisition of an 80% stake in Swiss MRO service provider SR Technics. Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala — sole shareholder in the Swiss firm since 2011 — will retain a 20% stake. The Zurich-based company was acquired in 2006 by a consortium comprising Mubadala, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise and investment firm Istithmar World.
SR Technics will operate as a standalone entity within HNA Aviation’s portfolio of aviation business. Chen Wenli, Vice Chairman of HNA Group, said the group fully supported SR Technics’ existing long-term strategy and executive management team. The move will clearly support the company’s expansion into the fast-growing Asia Pacific market.
The transaction remains subject to anti-trust and regulatory approvals.
It is the latest in a string of recent investments by HNA in Europe. Targets have included Air France catering subsidiary Servair, Swiss airline catering specialist Gategroup, French airline Aigle-Azur, and Swissport, the world’s largest ground and cargo handling services provider.
In addition to Aigle-Azur, HNA has interests in several airlines, including its flagship carrier Hainan Airlines, Africa World Airlines, 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.