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  1. China firm’s $1.5 billion offer for Swiss caterer

China firm’s $1.5 billion offer for Swiss caterer

HNA said it intends to delist the company but pledged to retain gategroup's current management and keep it headquartered in Switzerland.

By: | Shanghai | Updated: July 4, 2016 6:21 PM
swiss reu l HNA owned or had acceptances from a total of 63.6 percent of gategroup shares by the July 1 deadline. (Reuters)

A $1.5 billion Chinese offer for Swiss airline catering firm gategroup has just failed to meet the minimum acceptance level by the first deadline, the two companies said.

Conglomerate HNA Group – best known as the parent of Hainan Airlines – bid 53 Swiss francs per share for Zurich-based gategroup in April, a more than 20 percent premium to its share price before the offer.

HNA owned or had acceptances from a total of 63.6 percent of gategroup shares by the July 1 deadline, just short of the 67 percent threshold for the deal to go through, both firms said.

HNA said on its website it could extend the offer, and Bloomberg News cited Pascal Furger, Zurich-based analyst with Bank Vontobel, as saying: “The deal will go through.”
The Swiss firm’s management has endorsed the offer.

HNA earlier said it intends to delist the company but pledged to retain gategroup’s current management and keep it headquartered in Switzerland.

It is one of a series of giant Chinese acquisitions overseas, including another by HNA, which said in February it would pay $6.0 billion for US tech firm Ingram Micro.

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