HNA's Gategroup Gets Temasek, RRJ Investment After Failed IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Temasek Holdings Pte. and RRJ Capital agreed to invest an unspecified amount in an airline caterer owned by HNA Group Co., the Chinese conglomerate that’s selling assets after a debt-fueled acquisition spree.

The two investors subscribed to a five-year, mandatory exchangeable bond that will give them a 49 percent stake in Gategroup Holding AG upon conversion into shares, according to a statement Monday. Richard Ong, founder and chairman of RRJ, will join the board of directors.

The purchase comes after HNA abandoned plans for an initial public offering for the Swiss caterer through which it had sought to raise as much as 1.1 billion francs ($1.1 billion). HNA, which is disposing assets spanning hotels to property, has been under pressure to reverse a multibillion-dollar buying spree since the Chinese government started a crackdown on overseas dealmaking.

The Chinese group signed an agreement earlier this year with Temasek to cooperate in areas including aviation, logistics and airport infrastructure. Bloomberg first reported in April that Temasek was studying a potential investment in Gategroup.

“We are very pleased that accomplished, long-term focused global investors like Temasek and RRJ Capital recognize the value in Gategroup today as well as its future growth potential,” Adam Tan, chairman of the caterer, said in the statement. “We look forward to working alongside them and Gategroup’s world-class management team to accelerate the company’s growth strategy."

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