Wed, May 02, 2018 - Page 10 News List

China’s HNA Group, SkyBridge agree to end acquisition bid

Bloomberg

HNA Group Co (海航集團) and SkyBridge Capital have agreed to drop the Chinese conglomerate’s plan to acquire the investment firm. Founder Anthony Scaramucci will return as a co-managing partner.

The New York-based hedge fund and the aviation-to-real estate group plan to explore a relationship to distribute SkyBridge products in China, they said on Monday in a statement.

Both sides agreed that US government approval of the acquisition would have taken too long.

Scaramucci, the former White House communications director, is to focus on strategic planning and marketing for the fund, while the senior management and investment team would remain intact, according to the statement.

HNA, which spent more than US$40 billion buying assets across six continents since 2015, has been selling off real estate and stakes in companies this year amid a liquidity crunch and rising Chinese government scrutiny of overseas deals.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has also increased scrutiny of Chinese buyers amid trade tensions between the two countries.

That push has stymied a string of planned takeovers.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, an interagency panel led by the US Department of the Treasury, began its formal review of the proposed Skybridge acquisition in February, a person familiar with the matter said at the time.

The transaction, which valued the fund of hedge funds firm at US$180 million or more, was first announced in January last year.

Scaramucci was looking to sell his share in order to take a position in the Trump administration.

A subsidiary of HNA agreed to purchase a majority stake in the firm, an investment company called RON Transatlantic would increase its share.

Analysts had said that the deal was high for a fund-of-funds manager.

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