Posted on: 25 November 2015 by Ross McSweeny
tAzul Brazilian Airlines has announced a new partnership with HNA Group Company Limited which will see the latter acquire a 23.7% stake in the airline, thereby assuming the role of Azul’s single largest shareholder.ttThe aim is for both parties to benefit from the substantial passenger traffic between China and Brazil, which are strong global trade partners. Through the partnership, the companies will cooperate in the development of code sharing, new route development, and the expansion of loyalty programmes. Furthermore, as part of the investment, HNA Group will appoint new members to Azul’s board of directors.ttDavid Neeleman, CEO of Azul, stated, “HNA Group sees in Azul a solid investment with high growth potential. The USD $450 million investment, considering Brazil’s current macroeconomic situation, demonstrates that we have a winning business model and that the HNA Group, as a large investor, has absolute confidence in Azul’s team. Moreover, this investment makes Azul the airline with the highest valuation in the Brazilian market, at more than R$ 7.0 billion.”tt“HNA Group is committed to expanding in the airline industry through strategic investments in companies with strong market positions and excellent management teams,” explained Adam Tan, president of HNA Group. “We are pleased to partner with Azul in order to bring more choice and convenience to our customers traveling to and from Brazil. We eagerly look forward to working with Azul founder David Neeleman and his team for the mutual benefit of both airlines.”ttDuring the deal, Bravia Capital served as financial advisor to HNA Group, while Seabury Securities LLC served as financial advisor to Azul.