The Real Deal New York

Amid scrutiny, HNA reveals its unusual ownership structure

Two charities own a 52 % stake
July 25, 2017 08:02AM

245 Park Avenue and HNA Chairman Chen Feng (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

Facing heightened scrutiny from U.S. regulators, HNA Group TRData LogoTINY revealed on Monday that it’s majority controlled by two charities.

The charities — both named Cihang — are based in New York City and the Chinese resort island of Hainan, Bloomberg reported. The charities own 52 percent of HNA Group, while various company officials — including founders Chen Feng and Wang Jian — own 47.5 percent. Hainan Airlines Holding Co. owns the remaining stake. Little is known about the charities or how they cast votes on important operational matters.

The revelation comes as HNA pursues the acquisition of SkyBridge Capital, a hedge fund owned by the new White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci. The deal is one of several in a backlog of investigations being handled by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. Last week, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch told investment bankers to steer clear of HNA due to concerns over its loans and ownership structure.

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Last year, corporate filings showed that a Chinese businessman, Guan Jun, owned a 29 percent stake in the company. HNA representatives said Guan recently sold his shares to the charities.

In May, HNA closed on the $2.21 billion purchase of 245 Park Avenue, one of the biggest prices ever paid for an office tower in Manhattan. [Bloomberg] — Kathryn Brenzel