As China Targets Serial Acquirers, These Are The Deals Still Pending

Chinese dealmakers like HNA Group Co. co-founder Chen Feng and Fosun International Ltd.’s billionaire chairman Guo Guangchang have led a $310 billion overseas acquisition spree since the start of 2016. Now, regulators are stepping up scrutiny of these prolific buyers.

The nation’s banking watchdog has asked lenders to provide information on overseas loans made to Anbang Insurance Group Co., Dalian Wanda Group Co., Fosun, HNA and the Chinese owner of the AC Milan soccer team, people familiar with the matter said Thursday. While the pace of acquisitions by those five companies has slowed this year, they still have several purchases in progress, from investments in Russia’s biggest gold producer to London real estate and financial assets around the globe. 

They’re not the only ones trying to get overseas deals over the finish line. State-owned China National Chemical Corp. is working to complete its record $43 billion deal for Swiss pesticide maker Syngenta AG, first announced in February 2016. Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. is trying to fend off a last-minute competing bid from Glencore Plc as it pursues an offer for Rio Tinto Group’s $2.45 billion Australian coal business. E-commerce billionaire Jack Ma continues to push his offer for MoneyGram International Inc. after U.S. lawmakers said the deal could pose security risks.

Still, the focus remains on the companies singled out by regulators. Here are some of their biggest overseas deals that are still pending:

HNA Group/CWT Ltd. ($1 billion)

HNA said in April it plans to take over CWT, a Singapore-based logistics provider with about 6,000 employees. The deal would give HNA a foothold in Southeast Asia and helps it build a transport network across the region, which is being encouraged as part of the Chinese government’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative to revive ancient trade routes. CWT also has a portfolio of warehouse properties that would help HNA bulk up its commodity trading business. 

Fosun consortium/Polyus PJSC ($887 million)

Gold nuggets from placer mining operations sit in a sorting tray at the Lenzoloto OJSC plant, a unit of Polyus Gold, near Bodaybo, Russia.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Fosun led a Chinese investor group that agreed last month to buy about 10 percent of Russia’s biggest gold producer from the family of billionaire Suleiman Kerimov. The deal, which values Polyus at about $9 billion, is still pending government approvals. Fosun has been ramping up its resources deals, announcing just a couple weeks later a takeover bid for London-based Gemfields Plc, the world’s top emerald producer.

Dalian Wanda/London land plot ($593 million)

Flowers stand in bloom below blocks of flats that make up the the Riverlight residential development in the Nine Elms area of London, U.K., on Monday, April 3, 2017. U.K. house prices fell for the first time in almost two years in March, according to the latest report from Nationwide Building Society. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Flowers stand in bloom below blocks of flats that make up the the Riverlight residential development in the Nine Elms area of London, U.K.

Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The real estate unit of Dalian Wanda agreed Wednesday to buy a land plot in London’s Nine Elms district from a joint venture between St. Modwen Properties Plc and Vinci Plc. The purchase is part of a wave of Asian investments in the U.K. capital after the Brexit vote triggered weakness in the pound. Dalian Wanda will be able to develop around 1,900 homes as well as stores and leisure units on the 10-acre (4-hectare) site near Battersea Power Station. The deal is expected to be completed later this summer. Dalian Wanda is already developing apartment and hotel towers in the district at the One Nine Elms project.

HNA Group/OM Asset Management Plc ($446 million)

HNA said in March it will buy a 25 percent stake in Old Mutual Plc’s U.S. asset management unit in two tranches. The conglomerate, which owns China’s fourth-largest airline, has been investing in financial services as it seeks to broaden its portfolio beyond transportation and tourism. In 2017, it’s also reached a deal for a stake in Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital, agreed to acquire assets from Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. and become one of the largest shareholders in Deutsche Bank AG. HNA has completed the initial purchase of about 10 percent of OM Asset, with the second portion due to close in the second half of the year.

HNA Group/Rezidor Hotel Group AB ($322 million)

Last year, HNA acquired the owner of the Radisson hospitality brand in a deal that also gave it a majority stake in European chain Rezidor Hotel. It’s now working to buy all the shares it doesn’t already own in Rezidor Hotel, in accordance with Swedish takeover rules. Deal deadlines have been postponed multiple times, with HNA saying this month it hasn’t received all the necessary regulatory and government clearances.

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