CWT lenders put MRI metals trading, warehousing units up for sale

MELBOURNE, June 12 (Reuters) - Lenders to CWT International Ltd, a unit of China’s indebted HNA Group Co Ltd , have put its Singapore-based metals trading and logistics units up for sale, according to a filing to Hong Kong’s bourse on Wednesday.

The proposed sale comes after CWT International defaulted on a HK$1.4 billion ($179 million) loan in April, since when trading in its shares has been suspended.

Receivers are now carrying out due diligence on assets underlying the loan that include a holding firm for HNA’s metals and minerals marketing and logistics services. Other assets pledged include properties in Britain and the United States and golf courses in China.

“Receivers currently have the intention to, and are taking steps to ... dispose of the company’s subsidiaries,” CWT International told the Hong Kong stock exchange.

While lenders had seized the assets in April, they had determined not to interfere with the trading business in case they diluted its value, a source said at the time.

HNA had been in talks with banks to find a buyer for CWT Pte as early as last year, sources told Reuters in September, nine months after it acquired the business in a $1 billion deal.

“For us, it’s business as usual (for all businesses),” Lynda Goh, CWT Pte’s Deputy Group CEO & Group CFO told Reuters.

CWT is a London Metal Exchange-registered warehousing company that in 2011 bought marketer and trader MRI Trading AG. MRI was started by oil and metals trader Marc Rich, who ultimately went on to found global trader Glencore.

A sale of CWT would be the latest in a series of divestments aimed at slashing debt at HNA, an aviation-to-financial services conglomerate.

$1 = 7.8216 Hong Kong dollars Reporting by Melanie Burton in MELBOURNE; additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in SINGAPORE; editing by Richard Pullin