HNA Group is confusing investors with its sales strategy

Company is looking to sell off its global assets
February 28, 2018 12:30PM

Cheng Feng and 245 Park Avenue (Credit: Getty Images and Brookfield)

HNA Group’s tactics for selling off its multi-billion-U.S. real estate portfolio are confusing investors and leading to rumors about how the conglomerate plans to unload its various office and hotel properties.

The company tapped two brokerages, Eastdil Secured and HFF, to sell off its buildings but is also speaking directly to investors, Real Estate Alert reported.

“Everyone I’ve talked to about the HNA sale process shakes their head in disbelief,” one New York-based chief investment officer told Real Estate Alert. “No one knows or understands what HNA is doing. It’s hard to believe a large, sophisticated organization is running such an unsophisticated process.”

There’s been some talk, for instance, that Northwood Investors has an exclusive chance to buy all of HNA’s U.S. properties this week, but it’s unclear if this is the case. Northwood purchased 1180 Sixth Avenue — owned by an HNA subsidiary and MHP Real Estate Services — for $305 million. HNA hired Eastdil to sell that building and also gave the firm the non-exclusive right to shop other properties, including 245 Park Avenue and 850 Third Avenue. HFF was hired to also non-exclusively pitch these properties, as well as the Cassa Times Square Hotel in Manhattan.

Following a $16 billion buying spree, HNA owns a majority stake in five U.S. office buildings.

The Chinese conglomerate, heavily in debt and under criticism for trying to raise money from its own employees, also recently sold the Wildenstein mansion to billionaire Len Blavatnik for $90 million.  [REA] — Kathryn Brenzel