May 22, 2017 / 8:55 AM / 2 months ago

China's HNA in talks to buy stake in Hong Kong-listed Value Partners: Bloomberg

2 Min Read

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is in talks to buy a stake in Hong Kong asset management company Value Partners Group Ltd (0806.HK), Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The group is in talks to buy a part of Chairman Cheah Cheng Hye's holding in Value Partners, and may look to increase its stake further, Bloomberg said, citing the sources. It did not specify how large a stake HNA was looking to buy.

A deal could value Value Partners, among Asia's largest independent asset managers, at more than $2 billion, the media company reported citing another source.

Value Partners responded to the report with a statement on the Hong Kong stock exchange saying that discussions were still going on and the related parties had not entered into any definitive agreement on the possible transaction.

Shares of Value Partners were suspended on Monday afternoon after rising more than 8 percent in the morning. The company has applied to the stock exchange for a resumption of trade on Tuesday.

The companies hope to reach a deal in coming weeks, but it is not certain the talks will lead to a formal transaction, Bloomberg reported.

HNA declined to comment. Cheah did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

HNA group has been on a spending spree in recent months, as it looks to diversify away from its traditional logistics core business.

The owner of Hainan Airlines Co inked about $20 billion in deals last year, snapping up a stake in Hilton Hotels and investing in catering and logistics firms and is increasingly pushing into financial services.

With more than $100 billion in assets, investments this year have included a hedge fund platform, a New Zealand lender and a 9.9 percent stake in Germany's Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE).

Reporting by Michelle Price and Bengaluru newsroom; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and David Evans

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