HNA Buys into U.S. Fund Manager as Founder Leaves to Join Trump
(Beijing) — Hedge-fund investment firm SkyBridge Capital said a group that includes Chinese private equity firm HNA Group will take control of the company in a deal that will see founder Anthony Scaramucci leave as he prepares for a role in the new administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
HNA unit HNA Capital, one of China’s most aggressive private equity investors, will buy a majority stake in SkyBridge along with RON Transatlantic EG, a holding company with interests in financial services, logistics and energy sectors, according to a SkyBridge statement released on Tuesday.
Financial terms and the actual size of the stake were not disclosed.
HNA has been on a global acquisition spree in recent years and announced or completed $30 billion of deals in 2016 alone. The group has traditionally focused on the travel and tourism sector closely associated with its base in southern China’s Hainan province. But last week the company made global headlines for a deal in the financial services sector, with the announcement it would pay NZ$660 million ($468.7 million) for UDC Finance, the New Zealand asset finance arm of Australia’s ANZ Bank.
"Our investment in SkyBridge is an important step in HNA Capital’s strategy to build a global asset management business,” said Guang Yang, CEO of HNA Capital U.S. “We look forward to working with the world-class management team of SkyBridge and our partners at RON Transatlantic to accelerate SkyBridge’s long-term growth and development.”
SkyBridge oversees about $12 billion in assets, and also hosts the popular SkyBridge Alternatives Conference, or SALT, an event for hedge fund managers that is held in Las Vegas each year. As part of the deal, SALT will be spun off as a stand-alone entity.
Scaramucci will step down from his role as co-managing partner and will no longer be affiliated with SkyBridge or SALT, while the rest of the management team will remain in place. The move comes days after media reported that Scaramucci will join the new Trump administration as top adviser for public engagement.
HNA’s deal comes just a week after Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., became the first major Chinese business leader to publicly meet with Trump since Trump’s election. Many Chinese businesses worry about reduced access to U.S. markets under Trump, who has accused China of stealing jobs from the U.S.
Contact reporter Yang Ge (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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