HNA’s Chen Feng to step up leadership role following death of co-chairman

Global conglomerate didn’t generate enough cash last year to cover debt service

New York /
Jul.July 06, 2018 01:55 PM

Chen Feng and 245 Park Avenue (Credit: World Travel and Tourism Council via Flickr, 245 Park Ave, and Wikipedia)

HNA Group chairman Chen Feng will likely play a larger role in steadying the debt-laden company following the sudden death of co-chairman Wang Jian Tuesday.

Chen, 65, was suddenly thrust into the sole leadership role at the company when the 57-year-old Wang died from a 49-foot fall while posing for a photograph in France, Bloomberg reported.

“Chen Feng has been retiring himself from day-to-day management over the years and a lot of the responsibilities have been concentrated around Wang Jian,” Yu Zhanfu, a partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants based out of Beijing, told Bloomberg.

“Chen Feng is now crucial in helping stabilize sentiment in the company. He will also be the most important person to relay key messages to the outside world about HNA going forward and he needs to be more proactive,” Zhanfu said.

Wang lost his balance while climbing on a retaining wall in the scenic French region of Provence, French authorities said.

He owned about 15 percent of HNA Group and was instrumental in its growth.

Cheng, along with key managers like chief executive officer Adam Tan, is trying to stabilize a company that didn’t generate enough profits to pay its debt service last year. The company’s short-term debt climbed to $29 billion last year, exceeding its cash reserves. And HNA is facing high borrowing costs.

“HNA’s got to put up with higher financing costs just to get funding access, up until they reach a stage where they have sufficiently de-levered,” said Jin Rui Oh, a senior analyst at United First Partners. “Just do what the government wants — De-leverage and divest.”

The Chinese government has reportedly stepped in to help the company.

Here in New York City, HNA recently sold the office building it owned with MHP Real Estate Partners at 1180 Sixth Avenue for $305 million, and is reportedly in talks to sell a stake in 245 Park Avenue to SL Green Realty, New York’s largest commercial landlord. [Bloomberg, Bloomberg] – Rich Bockmann


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
(iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
Manhattan job losses in Q3 worst of any large county in the US
Manhattan job losses in Q3 worst of any large county in the US
Rudin Management's Bill Rudin, 1675 Broadway and Gannett CEO Mike Reed (Getty, Google Maps, Gannett)
Gannett to move its NYC office two blocks north
Gannett to move its NYC office two blocks north
A rendering of the facility at 1029 Newark Avenue in Elizabeth, Fidelco chairman Marc Berson and Elberon Development Group chairman Ann Evans Estabrook (Photos via JLL, Fidelco and Elberon)
Cold storage facility in New Jersey gets $34M loan
Cold storage facility in New Jersey gets $34M loan
Silverstein Properties' Larry Silverstein and Phase I of the Denizen Bushwick at 54 Noll Street (Getty, Google Maps/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Silverstein offers to buy half of All Year’s Bushwick rental complex
Silverstein offers to buy half of All Year’s Bushwick rental complex
HSBC COO John Hinshaw (Getty, iStock)
HSBC to shrink its office footprint amid shift to WFH
HSBC to shrink its office footprint amid shift to WFH
SL Green CEO Marc Holliday, 625 Madison Avenue and Ashkenazy Acquisition CEO Ben Ashkenazy (Photos via SL Green, Google Maps/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
SL Green, Ben Ashkenazy duke it out over Madison Avenue office
SL Green, Ben Ashkenazy duke it out over Madison Avenue office
Heritage Equity Partners' Toby Moskovits and the Williamsburg Hotel at 96 Wythe Avenue (Moskovits via Sasha Maslov; Hotel via Williamsburg Hotel)
Toby Moskovits’ Williamsburg Hotel enters bankruptcy
Toby Moskovits’ Williamsburg Hotel enters bankruptcy
Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son and Adam Neumann (Getty/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Adam Neumann, SoftBank near settlement agreement
Adam Neumann, SoftBank near settlement agreement
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...