HNA Group Becomes Largest Shareholder in Deutsche Bank as Global Acquisitions Continue

According to reports, on May 3, 2017, Chinese conglomerate, HNA Group raised its equity in Deutsche Bank AG to 9.92% (up from 4.76%) to become the bank’s largest shareholder ahead of the Qatar Royal Family and BlackRock, Inc.  HNA holds the shares through a special purpose company managed by C‑Quadrant – which also holds HNA’s voting rights within its Deutsche Bank equity.

HNA has been active in carrying out mergers and acquisition in recent years.  In 2016, the company acquired U.S. chipmaker Ingram Micro, absorbed a 25% stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings and also purchased U.S. private equity firm Skybridge Capital, among other major deals.

Although HNA Group is not a state-owned enterprise, it reportedly has senior political connections in Beijing.  The Chairman of the company, Chen Feng, has been a member of the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party for over 10 years.  The firm has received significant loans from state-backed lenders and its ownership structure is generally unknown.