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

TRD 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
Nightingale's Elie Schwartz and Madison's Brian Shatz (Whale Square)

Nightingale buys Whale Square in Sunset Park for $84M

Nightingale buys Whale Square in Sunset Park for $84M
Investors worry that New York City’s battered commercial real estate sector is indicative of larger issues nationwide with hotels, restaurants and retail. (iStock)

New York’s CRE woes could spread nationwide: investors

New York’s CRE woes could spread nationwide: investors
Subversive CEO Richard Acosta (Photos via ICSC; iStock)

Riding high: Inception, Subversive to launch publicly traded cannabis REIT

Riding high: Inception, Subversive to launch publicly traded cannabis REIT
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that movie theaters in some New York counties can reopen, but NYC’s theaters are excluded for now. (Getty; iStock)

Cuomo: Movie theaters can reopen — but not in NYC

Cuomo: Movie theaters can reopen — but not in NYC
Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, Roku CEO Anthony Wood and Coleman Highline in San Jose (Blackstone; Wikipedia Commons; Coleman Highline)

Blackstone buys Roku’s Silicon Valley office buildings

Blackstone buys Roku’s Silicon Valley office buildings
IKEA Chief Sustainability Officer Pia Heidenmark Cook (IKEA, iStock)

Ikea will buy back your old furniture on Black Friday

Ikea will buy back your old furniture on Black Friday
107 Chambers Street and Allison and Frederick Thompson (Google Maps, Tribeca Health & Fitness) 

Another fitness studio in Manhattan goes belly-up

Another fitness studio in Manhattan goes belly-up
Blackstone’s Kathleen McCarthy with 440 Saw Mill River Road, Ardsley, New York and 1000 Gateway Boulevard in San Francisco, California (left) (Blackstone; BioMed Realty)

Blackstone bets big on life-science buildings with $14.6B deal

Blackstone bets big on life-science buildings with $14.6B deal
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...