Air France-KLM in talks to sell stake in catering unit Servair to China's HNA Group

Air France-KLM yesterday said that it is entering into exclusive negotiations with China's HNA Group to sell a stake in its catering unit Servair.

Air France-KLM is planning to sell 49.99 per cent of Servair and transfer operational control to HNA, the Franco-Dutch airline group said in a statement.

The stake sale would be based on an enterprise value of the catering unit of €475 million ($528.87 million).

Servair, which provides cleaning and catering to the aviation industry, employs 10,000 people and posted 2015 sales of €792 million.
 
HNA, whose flagship company is Hainan Airlines, has like other Chinese companies recently gone on acquisition spree.

In April, it offered to buy Swiss airline catering business Gategroup Holdings for $1.5 billion in cash. (See: China's HNA Group to buy Swiss catering, hospitality company Gategroup for $1.5 bn)

"Subject to HNA's acquisition of Gategroup, Air France and HNA intend to create the leading platform in the inflight catering business," Air France said in the statement.
 
A Fortune 500 company, HNA has grown from a local aviation transportation operator into a multinational conglomerate encompassing aviation, airport management, financial services, real estate, retail, tourism, and logistics.

The group has assets worth over $90 billion, and has 11 listed companies. In 2015, HNA had revenues of $29 billion and employed nearly 180,000 worldwide.

It has a fleet of over 820 aircrafts, serves nearly 700 domestic and international routes, flies to over 200 cities, and has serves 77.4 million passengers annually.

HNA operates and manages Hainan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Deer Jet, Lucky Air, Capital Airlines, West Air, Fuzhou Airlines, Urumqi Air, Beibu Gulf Airlines, Yangtze River Airlines, Guilin Airlines, My CARGO, Africa World Airlines, and Aigle Azur.