HONG KONG: HNA Group Co’s sale of container-leasing business Seaco has attracted potential bidders including Japanese financial firm Orix Corp and Bermuda-based Triton International Ltd, people familiar with the matter said.
Seaco has also drawn preliminary interest from investment funds including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which owns rival lessor SeaCube Container Leasing Ltd, according to the people.
The business could fetch US$1bil to US$1.5bil, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
HNA is working with an adviser on the potential divestment of Seaco, which is controlled by the group’s Shenzhen-listed Bohai Capital Holding Co unit, Bloomberg News reported in September.
The Chinese conglomerate has announced more than US$22bil of divestments this year, including stakes in Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc and Deutsche Bank AG, as it seeks to pare its massive debt load.
The process is at an early stage, and the potential bidders could decide against pursuing offers, according to the people.
HNA may still keep the business depending on the level of bids it receives, the people said.
Representatives for HNA, Ontario Teachers, Orix and SeaCube declined to comment. A representative for Triton didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Seaco offers dry freight, refrigerated, specialised and tank containers, according to its website. HNA and private equity firm Bravia Capital completed the US$1.05bil purchase of the company, formerly known as GE Seaco, in 2011 from owners including General Electric Co.
In 2015, HNA acquired control of rival container lessor Cronos Ltd and combined its business with Seaco. — Bloomberg