Could Congress undo HNA’s US acquisitions?

Lawmakers call for stricter oversight of Chinese conglomerate

Rep. Robert Pittenger (R., N.C.) and HNA's CEO Adam Tan (Credit: HNA)
Rep. Robert Pittenger (R., N.C.) and HNA's CEO Adam Tan (Credit: HNA)

Federal lawmakers are calling for more stringent oversight of HNA Group’s U.S. acquisitions and might even go as far as taking back approval of some earlier deals.

Earlier this month a U.S. company called Ness Technologies sued HNA. It alleged that the Chinese conglomerate shared “knowingly false, inconsistent, and misleading information” about its ownership and government ties to federal agencies, which were reviewing HNA’s planned acquisition of a Ness subsidiary. The deal ultimately fell apart.

“If these allegations are true, the government should consider using its ability to suspend future HNA transactions or retroactively reopen previous HNA agreements,” Rep. Robert Pittenger told the Wall Street Journal.

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Meanwhile lawmakers are pushing a bipartisan bill that would give the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) more power to investigate and possibly block deals.

“The claims raised by Ness are further proof that Congress needs to enact long-overdue CFIUS reform, which include increasing the resources available to fully investigate transactions,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro told the Journal.

HNA has been an active investor in New York’s real estate market in recent years and shelled out $2.2 billion for 245 Park Avenue in May, the priciest building sale in the city this year. [WSJ] — Konrad Putzier

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