Chairman, CEO Of China’s HNA Group Arrested For “Suspected Crime”
Three years after the the chairman of China’s failed conglomerate HNA Group Wang Jian died during a business trip in France on July 3 in what local police then said appeared to be an accidental fall from a wall while posing for a photograph, moments ago HNA Group – which was one of the biggest Chinese corporate failures and has been restructuring its operations after a $50 billion merger spree in the mid 2010s led to the company’s insolvency – reported on its official WeChat account that the the company’s current Chairman Chen Feng was “taken away” by police due to suspected criminal offenses. HNA’s CEO Tan Xiangdong was also taken away by police for suspected crime, it added.
The statement did not say what the crime is but clarified that HNA’s operations are unaffected and that its bankruptcy and restructuring is moving forward smoothly.
Chen Feng became chairman of HNA shortly after the bizarre death of the company’s previous Chairman Wang Jian. And as we wait to learn some more about the fate – or crimes – of the company’s top two officials, we remind readers of some more details surrounding the mysterious death in July 2018 of HNA’s former Chairman Wang Jian died when he fell 15 meters off a wall in the village of Bonnieux, near Avignon, a picturesque area popular with tourists, lieutenant-colonel Hubert Meriaux of the Vaucluse gendarmerie force told Reuters.
“He stood on the edge of a sharp drop to get his family to take a picture of him and fell,” he said.
His death complicated the troubled conglomerate’s efforts to restructure and pay off borrowings.
Wang’s death couldn’t have come at a worse time, said Brock Silvers, founder and managing director of Kaiyuan Capital, a Shanghai-based investment advisory firm.
“Deleveraging pressures on HNA continue to be enormous, and all such plans will probably now be revisited as the management team reconstitutes itself,” he said.
Wang told employees earlier this year that the company’s difficulties were the result of a “major conspiracy” against the ruling Communist Party and President Xi Jinping by foreign and domestic “reactionary forces”, according to an internally-distributed email.
Wang was regarded as the architect of an eye-popping $50 billion acquisition spree that saw HNA accumulate assets ranging from a stake in Deutsche Bank AG to high-profile overseas properties. Under pressure from Beijing, HNA has since sold off many of those assets to slash debt.
Fri, 09/24/2021 – 08:28