Switzerland’s takeover body has demanded that HNA clarify its ownership structure because of apparent changes to the acquisitive Chinese conglomerate’s shareholder base after its SFr1.4bn buyout of air services company Gategroup. The ownership of HNA has been shrouded in mystery since the company emerged as one of China’s top acquirers of overseas assets in recent years. In a letter to HNA and Gategroup, the Swiss Takeover Board, which oversees mergers and acquisitions, noted that the shareholdings listed in HNA’s prospectus for the original 2016 takeover of Gategroup differ considerably from statements recently made by the group’s top leadership. Citing a story by the Financial Times, the board asked HNA to clarify the prices at which shares in the group traded hands over the past year and a half. It also raised questions over a 29% stake that was at one point held by Guan Jun, a Chinese national about whom little is known.
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