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HNA receives EC clearance to acquire CWT of Singapore

Published 19 June 2017

The European Commission has approved Chinese conglomerate HNA Group’s offer to buy all the shares of Singapore-based logistics service and warehousing firm CWT under the EU Merger Regulation.

Earlier in April 2017, HNA made the pre-conditional general offer through its subsidiary HNA Belt and Road Investments (Singapore) to buy 600 million CWT shares at S$2.33 apiece, valuing CWT at S$1.44bn ($0.99bn).

Found in 1970 as a private arm of the Port of Singapore Authority, CWT is specialized in logistics services, commodity marketing, financial services and engineering services across more than 90 countries.

Majority of its activities are in Asia Pacific. In the European Union, CWT’s activities relate mainly to contract logistics, freight forwarding, exchange-approved base metals warehousing, and physical commodities trading.

For the year ended 31 December 2016, CWT has reported S$73.6m ($53.2m) profits on the back of S$9.25bn ($6.7bn) revenues.

Hainan-based HNA operations span across aviation, hospitality, tourism, real estate, retail, finance, logistics, shipbuilding and eco-tech.

The acquisition forms part of the HNA’s strategy to diversify from tourism and property, and emerge as a global logistics player.

Commenting on the acquisition, the EC said that ‘the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because of its limited impact on the market structure’.

Chairman Loi Kai Meng and group chief executive Loi Pok Yen, together with the Liao and Lim families, own 65.1% in CWT, according to the company’s 2016 annual report.


Image: The European Commission building in Brussels. Photo: courtesy of Corentin Béchade.