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HNA buys Australian reefer logistics business

PERTH, Australia: November 23, 2017. HNA International is to buy the refrigerated logistics business of Australia's largest auto retailer Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) for A$400 million.

The sale agreement to HNA subsidiary CC Logistics includes the 'Refrigerated Logistics' trucking and warehouse operations of AHG's Rand, Harris, Scott's and JAT companies for A$280 million in cash and A$120 million in finance lease liabilities.

JAT Australia"AHG has previously announced it would explore all opportunities to maximize shareholder value from the refrigerated logistics business," said AHG chairman David Griffiths, "Although the restructuring initiatives are delivering a significantly improved financial performance, the sale provides AHG with the opportunity to realize a certain value for shareholders that reflects this continuing improvement."

AHG managing director and CEO John McConnell said HNA wanted to continue investing in reefer logistics both internationally and in Australia. "As an experienced participant in the logistics sector, HNA will continue to deliver quality services to customers and we strongly believe that the business will have a very positive future under its new owners," he declared.

Completion of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2018 subject to regulatory approval.

Over the past five years AHG's Refrigerated Logistics business has expanded throughout Australia via a network of cold storage facilities, fleet investments and strategic acquisitions. In early FY2017, AHG began a restructuring program aimed at improving the division's operating efficiency. With its 2017 financial year ending in June, group EBITDA fell 4.8 percent for the subsequent July-October quarter to AS$59.7 million compared to the same period last year, as Automotive fell 0.6 percent to A$47.3 million, while its logistics operation rose 46.6 percent to A$10.8 million.

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