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  • Mooted HNA plan to sell Avolon is 'idle speculation': source

Mooted HNA plan to sell Avolon is 'idle speculation': source

Avolon is not being offered for sale by HNA, a source close to the lessor tells FlightGlobal, countering a report published late last month.

On 29 November, Bloomberg reported that HNA had compiled a list of businesses to be auctioned. In addition to real-estate holdings, the list included Avolon as well as CIT. But a source close to Dublin-based Avolon dismisses this as "idle speculation" and "old story lines being rehashed".

The report has HNA offering a 100% stake in CIT Leasing. CIT's aircraft portfolio has been fully integrated into Avolon since an acquisition deal closed in April 2017.

A more nuanced reading of the list presents the possibility that Avolon is trying to sell its unwanted CIT exposure. Avolon has already, through its trading channels, been selling down older, mid-life aircraft acquired as a part of the CIT transaction, including the offloading of 21 aircraft to Zephyrus earlier this year.

In any case, HNA does not directly own Avolon, though the Chinese group is the majority shareholder via a stake in Bohai Leasing – the listed entity that retains a 70% stake in Avolon after completing the sale of a 30% stake to Japan's Orix Aviation in November.

Shortly after calling off plans to restructure the business in October, Bohai rebranded from Bohai Capital to Bohai Leasing on 13 November, reiterating that its strategy would focus on "the main business of leasing, especially aviation".

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