April 11, 2018 / 3:15 PM / 10 months ago

HNA's Tianjin Tianhai plans to buy Dangdang's e-commerce assets

Illustration photo of the HNA logo December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Tianjin Tianhai Investment (600751.SS), a unit of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group [HNAIRC.UL], said on Tuesday it planned to acquire Chinese company Dangdang’s e-commerce assets for 7.5 billion yuan ($1.19 billion).

The acquisition will allow Tianjin Tianhai to tap into China’s e-commerce market via Dangdang, which is known for its online marketplace for books, clothes, furniture and other consumer goods.

Tianjin Tianhai plans to buy 100 percent stakes in two e-commerce companies owned by Dangdang, a rival to Amazon Inc (AMZN.O) in China, via cash and an issue of shares, it said in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange.

As part of the deal, Tianjin Tianhai plans to raise up to 4.06 billion yuan in a private placement to help fund the deal and other projects, such as building a second headquarters for Dangdang within China.

Trade in Tianjin Tianhai’s shares were suspended in January because of its owner HNA’s restructuring. The shares remain suspended.

HNA Group is under scrutiny over its opaque ownership and use of leverage as it embarked on an ambitious buying spree over the past few years. Tianjin Tianhai’s deal requires approval from Chinese authorities such as the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in SINGAPORE and Twinnie Siu in HONG KONG. Editing by Jane Merriman

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