April 12, 2016 – HNA Group and Gategroup Holding have entered into a definitive transaction agreement that will see HNA launch an all-cash public tender offer for all publicly held registered shares of Gategroup at a price of CHF53 (Euro48.67) per share. On a fully diluted basis, the offer price values Gategroup at an equity value of approximately CHF1.4 billion (Euro1.29 billion).
HNA is a privately owned Fortune Global 500 Corporation headquartered in Haikou, China with operations in the aviation sector, infrastructure and real estate, financial services, tourism and logistics. According to HNA, the addition of Gategroup “fits perfectly” with its existing services portfolio and is “a key building block in its strategy to accelerate global expansion by establishing an increased presence in aviation-related industries and services sectors”.
Adam Tan, vice chairman and CEO of HNA, said, “We are excited about welcoming Gategroup to the HNA family, and look forward to jointly embarking on the next stage of Gategroup’s development. Our offer delivers an attractive proposal for all of Gategroup’s stakeholders, providing shareholders with an attractive premium in cash, offering management and employees good career opportunities in one of the world’s largest aviation groups and underpinning Gategroup’s long-term development with a responsible industrial ownership structure.”
Upon completion of the public tender offer, HNA intends to delist Gategroup from the SIX Swiss Exchange and operate the company as an autonomous portfolio company within the HNA group. HNA has stated that it is committed to retaining Gategroup’s headquarters in Switzerland.
The board of directors of Gategroup has unanimously resolved to support the public tender offer by HNA and to recommend the acceptance of HNA’s public tender offer to Gategroup’s shareholders. The board noted that a combination with HNA has significant strategic, operational and financial advantages for Gategroup.
Andreas Schmid, chairman of the board of directors of Gategroup commented, “The offer reflects the fair and adequate value and quality built by Gategroup. It makes strategic sense that our company will become part of HNA, one of the leading providers of airport and aviation services worldwide. HNA has extensive expertise in the aviation industry, and its strong footprint in Asia will help Gategroup to expand significantly in this fast-growing region, where Gategroup has strategic headroom.”
The public offer is subject to a minimum acceptance condition of 67% and the approval of all competent regulatory and merger control authorities and other customary closing conditions. The main offer period is expected to commence on or about May 27, 2016 and to end on or about June 23, 2016, followed by the additional acceptance period expected to commence on or about June 30, 2016 and to end on or about July 13, 2016.