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HNA Group to weigh bid for Singapore firm

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HNA Group Co., the acquisitive owner of China’s fourth-largest airline, has approached the biggest shareholder of CWT Ltd. to express interest in a possible bid for control of the Singapore logistics company, people with the exact knowledge of the matter said.
The Loi family that controls CWT will discuss HNA’s interest in coming days and could enter exclusive talks with the Chinese company as soon as next week, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.
The shares of CWT, which has a market value of about $945 million, jumped as much as 7.4 percent in Singapore trading this week and closed at the highest in more than seven months.
CWT’s main shareholder C & P Holdings Pte Ltd has been approached by various interested parties and is in the process of reviewing their proposals for its business and assets, the company said in a filing to the stock exchange. There is no certainty that the talks would lead to a deal, the logistics company said.
A deal would be the latest in a string of acquisitions by the owner of Hainan Airlines Co.
HNA said last month it will buy Swiss airline catering company Gategroup Holding AG for 1.4 billion francs ($1.4 billion) and it also agreed to purchase closely-held Carlson Hotels Inc., that would ensure gaining hospitality brands including Radisson and Park Plaza.
“China is the biggest freight cargo market, and having Singapore will give them a wing into a hub where the location is strategic,” ShukorYusof, founder of aviation consultant Endau Analytics, said via phone “This is all part of China’s push to having its companies to have bigger presence outside the country.” HNA, based on a tropical island in southern China dotted with beach resorts, has assets valued at more than 600 billion yuan ($92.3 billion), according to its website.
The Chinese group runs businesses including hotels, supermarkets, department stores, insurance firms, ship repairs, logistics and airports that generated combined revenue of nearly 190 billion yuan last year, the website shows.

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