China’s HNA Group Sells Sydney Tower to Address Liquidity Crunch


Chinese conglomerate HNA Group has confirmed it has sold an office building at 1 York Street Sydney for $205 million in a move designed to alleviate liquidity concerns and questions over its opaque ownership.

US private equity and real estate giant Blackstone is reportedly the successful buyer though neither Blackstone or HNA have confirmed Blackstone’s identity as the buyer.

Aviation, property and financial services giant HNA had embarked on a $63 billion buying spree in the last two years. HNA currently has a 19.2 per cent stake in airline Virgin Australia.

HNA is another Chinese company that has been forced to scale back its off-shore activities and borrowings after being targeted by authorities in Beijing.

Last week, Dalian Wanda, under similar pressure, confirmed the disposal of two trophy Australian developments with an estimated worth of more than $1 billion – One Circular Quay in Sydney and Jewel at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.

[Related reading: Wanda to Sell $6.6bn Worth of Projects]

HNA profited $88 million from the York Street sale. It had purchased the building in 2011 from Colonial First State for $117 million.

The refurbished 1 York Street building was constructed in 1973 and is a 22-level office tower with a total NLA of 18,000 square metres and four levels of basement car parking.

[Related reading: Are China’s Curbs on Outbound Investment an Opportunity for Australian Developers?]

1 York Street was owned by HNA’s real estate unit, Hong Kong International Investment Group.

The HNA Group is the parent company of Shanghai-based Hainan Airlines.

Last year it indicated it would be offloading prime real estate assets in New York, London and San Francisco as well resorts in French Polynesia.

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