A unit of HNA Group appears to have acquired 80% of the entity operating the online portal of Chinese financial media brand Caijing, according to business registration records verified by China Money Network.
The shareholder structure of Beijing Lianban Caixun Culture & Media Co., Ltd, the operator of Caijing magazine's online portal Caijing.com.cn and over a dozen other media titles, was changed last December to reflect an 80% interest held by HNA Capital, an investment arm of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group.
The business registration shows that HNA Capital owns 80% of the Beijing media company as it contributed RMB8.8 million to the company's RMB11 million total registered capital. Beijing Lianban Caixun itself owns 10.91%, while another investment unit whose identity cannot be verified owns the remaining share.
Beijing Lianban Caixun was valued at around RMB1 billion (US$145 million) to RMB1.5 billion (US$217 million) in the transaction, according to Chinese media reports citing insiders.
A call to Beijing Lianban Caixun was not answered. A representative at Caijing magazine refused to provide details. Inquiries from China Money Network to HNA Group and NHA Capital were not answered.
Beijing Lianban Caixun was established in 2014 and it operates the online portal of popular Chinese language financial media company Caijing. Caijing magazine is operated by Hong Kong-listed SEEC Media Group.
The company acquired by HNA Group and SEEC Media Group belong to the same parent company, said a representative at Caijing magazine, but refused to provide more details. It appears HNA Capital acquired a company that does not operate Caijing magazine.
Beijing Lianban Caixun operates over a dozen media titles including Timeout Shanghai, Timeout Beijing, and the Chinese language version of Harvard Business Review.
In January, HNA Capital teamed up with RON Transatlantic EG to acquire a majority stake in SkyBridge Capital, a U.S. alternative investment firm founded by U.S. President Donald Trump's adviser, Anthony Scaramucci, for an undisclosed amount.
In October 2016, HNA Group agreed to acquire an approximate 25% stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. from the Blackstone Group LP for about US$6.5 billion.
HNA Group was the most acquisitive Chinese buyer globally last year, with at least nine major deals announced, as Chinese companies doubled outbound mergers and acquisitions last year to an all-time high US$225.4 billion in total deal value.