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HNA in Talks to Buy Jailed Gome Founder’s Beijing Property

HNA Group, controlled by China’s Hainan provincial government, said it is in talks to buy a commercial property in Beijing owned by Gome Electrical Appliances Holdings Ltd.’s jailed founder Huang Guangyu.

Final agreement has not been reached on the purchase, Tong Fu, an HNA Group spokesman, said by phone today. reported yesterday that HNA has agreed to buy the property for 6 billion yuan ($940 million). Wang Yongzeng, spokesman for Huang’s Pengrun Investment Co. said he is not aware of a sale.

A deal would give HNA Group, the largest shareholder of Hainan Airlines Co., China’s fourth-largest carrier, the Gome Shangdu property with 550,000 square meters (5.9 million square feet) of construction area in southwest Beijing. The company, which also runs airports and hotels, partnered with Bravia Capital earlier this month in an agreement to buy shipping-container lessor GE Seaco for $1.05 billion.

Huang, also known as Wong Kwong Yu, is serving a 14-year jail term after being charged with bribery and insider trading. He won a boardroom battle with Gome’s previous chairman Chen Xiao from prison earlier this year to reassert his influence. Gome is China’s second-biggest electronics retailer.

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