China’s expanding crackdown on debt-ridden companies has snared another corporate titan: HNA Group.
The transportation conglomerate said Friday police detained its chairman and chief executive due to suspected criminal offenses. It said Chairman Cheng Feng and CEO Tan Xiangdong, who appears to be a U.S. citizen and also goes by the name Adam Tan, had been taken away.
HNA, which is under bankruptcy administration, said its operations are – in its words – “stable and orderly.”
That’s a far cry from the past decade, when their swashbuckling company went on a $50 billion global spending spree, taking on debt as it bought stakes in big names like Hilton Worldwide and Deutsche Bank. But that drew the attention of Chinese government officials and overseas regulators.
With concerns growing over its mounting debt, HNA sold assets to focus on its airline and tourism businesses such as its flagship, Hainan Airlines.
Hainan said trading in its shares would be halted on Monday as executives meet to discuss a reorganization.