HNA Completes Investment in Azul with a US$450 Million Strategic Investment by Hainan Airlines in Azul for 23.7% Economic Stake and Become the Single Largest Shareholder
BEIJING, Aug 4, 2016 – (ACN Newswire) – Hainan Airlines Co., Ltd. (“Hainan Airlines”), a subsidiary of HNA Group Co., Ltd. (“HNA”), announces that it has completed its US $450 million strategic investment in Azul S.A. (“Azul”) to acquire a 23.7% economic stake in Brazil’s third largest airline, becoming the single largest shareholder of Azul in terms of economic interest, and is appointing three new members to the board of directors. The investment has paved the way for the two air airlines to cooperate through the development of global networking synergy, code sharing, new route development, frequent flyer program, marketing programs and cargo cooperation, as well as other strategic initiatives in the region. Moreover, both parties will benefit from the substantial passenger traffic between two very strong global trade partners – China and Brazil.
HNA, the mother group of Hainan Airlines, is a Fortune 500 multinational enterprise and the largest private operator of airlines in China. Hainan Airline together with HNA’s member airlines fly over 77 million passengers annually on nearly 700 routes to more than 200 destinations in China and around the world. HNA also has strategic investments in other aviation supply chain businesses, including aircraft leasing (Avolon), cargo, ground handling services (Swissport), catering (gategroup), hotels and travel agency chains. Azul is the largest airline in Brazil by number of cities served, offering more than 800 daily flights to over 100 destinations. With a fleet of 136 aircraft, Azul operates approximately one third of the daily departures of the Brazilian aviation market. This investment signals a significant step for both carriers in the growth and expansion of their international route networks.
Bravia Capital Partners, a leading global transportation, logistics, infrastructure and financial services investment firm, and UBS Investment Bank both supported Hainan Airlines throughout the transaction. Seabury Securities LLC, Seabury Capital’s investment banking unit, served as financial advisor to Azul.
Adam Tan, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of HNA Group, said “In addition to bringing more choice and convenience to Hainan Airlines’ customers traveling to and from Brazil, we view Azul as a strong and lasting partner for HNA to explore further expansion and capital investment in Latin America. We look forward to working together to create a seamless travel experience between Latin America and China and to deliver further choice, value and excellence to worldwide travelers through our future cooperation.”
David Neeleman, Founder and CEO of Azul, said “This US$450 million investment, demonstrates that we have a winning business model and that Hainan Airlines, as a large investor, has absolute confidence in Azul’s team. We are pleased to have Hainan as a partner as we strive to expand our award winning services throughout the region”
Bharat Bhise, CEO of Bravia Capital Partners, said “Bravia is pleased to have brought to Hainan Airlines an opportunity for strategic expansion into the largest economy in Latin America. We view Azul as a strong and lasting competitor in the Brazil market. Even in today’s macroeconomic climate, we see great potential for Hainan Airlines in Brazil and throughout Latin America.”
About HNA Group
HNA Group is a Fortune Global 500 company and a leading enterprise group headquartered in Haikou, China with core businesses spanning across aviation, holdings, tourism, capital and logistics. The Group achieved annual revenues of approximately RMB190 billion and had total assets of approximately RMB600 billion with around 180,000 employees for the year ended 31 December 2015. With its internationalization strategy, HNA Group has established an international presence through various merger and acquisition projects in the past several years. For more information, please visit www.hnagroup.com.
Azul, the largest airline in Brazil by number of cities served, offers more than 800 daily flights to more than 100 destinations. With a fleet of 136 aircraft and more than 10,000 crewmembers, the company currently has a 34% share of departures of the Brazilian aviation market. Among other awards, Azul was named best low cost carrier in South America for the sixth consecutive time and best staff in Latin America by Skytrax in 2016. The airline’s management team was also awarded best regional leadership award by Airline Strategy Awards in 2016 and was the most on-time low-cost carrier in the world according to AOG in 2015. For more information visitwww.voeazul.com.br.
About Bravia Capital Partners
Bravia Capital Partners is a Hong Kong based investment firm with a primary focus on transportation, logistics, infrastructure and financial service investments worldwide. Bravia Capital Partners has recently completed several key acquisitions (some together with one or more of its strategic partners): Avolon (2016), Cronos Group (2015), Thotaka Tecknologies India (2014), Energy Asia Transportation (2014), TIP Trailer Services Group (2013), Africa World Airlines in Ghana (2012), Seaco (2011), MyCargo Airlines (2011), MyTECHNIC (2010), and Hong Kong Aviation Capital (2010). For more information please go to the company’s web site:www.braviacapital.com.
About Seabury Capital
Seabury Capital LLC (“Seabury”) is a global advisory and investment firm with professionals on five continents in more than 15 countries serving Aviation, Aerospace & Defense, Financial Services, Government Services, Logistics, Maritime, Transportation, and related industries. Since 1995, Seabury has partnered with more than 300 clients in more than 50 countries on more than 1,300 engagements to solve complex challenges requiring consulting, investment banking, restructuring, and information technology solutions. Seabury also owns and operates a number of specialty finance companies providing innovative cross-border financing and electronic trading solutions. In addition, Seabury delivers enterprise solutions to airlines and aerospace companies through its software companies.www.seaburygroup.com.