HNA Puts $1.4 Billion Stake in Hilton Spinoff Up for Sale

(Bloomberg) -- HNA Group Co. put its $1.4 billion stake in Park Hotels & Resorts Inc. up for sale, the latest in a slew of asset disposals that have emerged as the embattled Chinese conglomerate scrambles to repay its mounting debts.

The sale could involve some or all of HNA’s 53.7 million shares, with any disposal being subject to market conditions, according to a regulatory filing in the U.S. HNA bought a quarter of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and two spinoffs -- Park Hotels and Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. -- from Blackstone Group LP last year for about $6.5 billion. Those stakes are valued at more than $9 billion today.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Park Hotels’ last close of $25.93 is similar to what HNA got the shares for less than a year ago. The value of HNA’s Hilton Worldwide stake has soared about 40 percent to $6.6 billion since the purchase, but those shares are locked up until next year, according to Bloomberg data. Hilton Grand Vacations is up 58 percent to $1.1 billion.

The move comes as the once little-known airline operator is actively seeking to dispose assets globally to repay debts after it spent tens of billions dollars in a debt-fueled buying spree that included stakes in Deutsche Bank AG and skyscrapers in New York. The group is said to have told creditors in January that it could have a liquidity shortfall of at least 15 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) this quarter and that it’s targeting about 100 billion yuan in asset sales during the first half of the year.

Park Hotels’ portfolio of properties include the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and the New York Hilton Midtown.

Park Hotels could be the biggest HNA share sale that’s emerged since late last year, when Chief Executive Officer Adam Tan announced a reversal in the group’s acquisition spree. In recent weeks, the conglomerate has put up for sale its 29 percent stake in Spanish hospitality firm NH Hotel Group SA. Other assets the company is planning to sell or has sold include Red Lion Hotels Corp., U.S. shipping company Dorian LPG Ltd. and China Dragon Securities Co. Meanwhile, the group is planning initial public offerings for Gategroup Holding AG and Swissport International in Switzerland.

HNA still has more than $25 billion of shares -- including Park Hotels -- according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Beyond stock, HNA has been pursuing disposals of its real-estate properties worldwide. This year, HNA agreed to sell a Sydney office building and two plots of land in Hong Kong. The group is also said to be putting up its raft of U.S. properties valued at $4 billion.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.