China's HNA in talks to sell stake in Hilton Grand Vacations: WSJ

A HNA Group logo is seen on the building of HNA Plaza in Beijing, China February 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

(Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is in talks to sell some or all of its 25 percent stake in Hilton Grand Vacations Inc HGV.N, the timeshare business spun off last year from Hilton Worldwide Holdings HLT.N, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

HNA would sell its shares into the open market instead of finding a direct buyer, the report said here, citing people familiar with the matter.

While an announcement could come as soon as this week, HNA’s plans could still change, the report added.

HNA bought a 25 percent stake in U.S. hotel chain Hilton Worldwide from Blackstone Group BX.N in 2016. Thanks to that deal, the Chinese firm built similar stakes in Hilton's two spun-off units — Park Hotels and Hilton Grand Vacations.

The Journal’s report comes days after Park Hotels disclosed HNA’s plans to sell some or all of its 25 percent stake in Park.

HNA’s 25 percent interest in Hilton Grand Vacations is worth more than $1 billion, according to Reuters calculations.

HNA, an aviation-to-financial services conglomerate, is racing to raise cash following a $50 billion acquisition spree over the past two years.

It could make a profit of nearly $570 million on paper from selling its stake in Hilton Grand Vacations, before accounting for leverage that could further boost its gain, the Journal said.

HNA did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment outside regular business hours. Hilton Grand Vacations declined to comment.

Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar