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China's HNA Group purchases first foothold in New Zealand

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-11 13:46

WELLINGTON - One of the world's biggest asset finance and leasing companies, China-based HNA Group, has purchased its first foothold in New Zealand.

ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd, one of New Zealand's biggest commercial banks, said Wednesday that HNA had agreed to buy its asset finance business, UDC Finance, for NZ$660 million($461.47 million).

ANZ New Zealand CEO David Hisco said the purchase price represented a price-to-book ratio of 1.6 times of net assets of NZ$424 million ($296.46 million) as of September 2016.

UDC Finance, which specializes in asset-based finance to New Zealand businesses for plant, vehicles and equipment, was performing well, Hisco said in a statement.

"HNA is well placed to invest in specialist asset finance products and systems which will help UDC expand further in the future," said Hisco.

"UDC's highly diversified portfolio offers significant growth opportunities in Australasia and supports HNA Group's disciplined approach to expand our core tourism, logistics and financial services businesses," HNA Group Vice Chairman and CEO Adam Tan said in the statement.

Founded in 1993, HNA Group has evolved from a regional airline based on China's Hainan island into a global company with over $90 billion of assets and almost 200,000 employees across North America, Europe and Asia.

The UDC sale was subject to closing steps and regulatory approvals, and completion was expected late in 2017.

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