January 25, 2018 / 1:00 PM / 8 months ago

HNA to float Swissport ground services and cargo handling business this year

(This Jan 25th story was refiled to clarify Swissport description in headline and first paragraph)

FILE PHOTO: Illustration photo of the HNA logo December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate HNA Group [HNAIRC.UL] is planning to float its Swissport unit on the Swiss exchange later this year, the airport ground services and cargo handling business said on Thursday, confirming an earlier report from Reuters.

Swissport said the decision to list in its home country underlined its strong Swiss foundation, with the newly listed company seen being run independently in the future.

HNA, the only shareholder in Swissport after buying it in 2015, would keep a long term shareholding in the company that handles more than 4.3 million tonnes of cargo per year and provides services for 250 million passengers.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that HNA, which also owns Swiss airline caterer Gategroup Holding, was considering the flotation to ease liquidity concerns. Sources said it was hoping to raise at least 2.7 billion Swiss francs ($2.87 billion) from a Swissport IPO.

($1 = 0.9416 Swiss francs)

Reporting by John Revill

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