China National Aviation Holding, the parent company of the country’s flag-carrier Air China, agreed to sell a total of 31% of its air cargo unit Air China Cargo stake to four investors. The deal valued Air China Cargo at up to 15.7 billion yuan ($2.37 billion).
According to the announcement issued by Shenzhen International Holdings on November 10, 2020, three investors including Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao, Shenzhen International, National Reform Double Hundred Development Fund and Air China Cargo’s employee shareholding platform invested a total of 4.9 billion yuan ($740 million), which is equal to 31% of the whole company’s shares, to increase the capital of Air China Cargo.
Shenzhen International reported that after the capital increase project would be finalized, the Chinese company would hold a 10% of Air China Cargo stake and would nominate the director. Meanwhile, the other three investors including Alibaba’s logistic arm Cainiao would hold 21% of the stake. By the transaction, Air China Cargo was valued at more than 15.7 billion yuan ($2.37 billion), 1.72 times higher than a book value, counted Caixin, the Chinese financial media group.
According to a public bidding document from the Beijing Equity Exchange released in August 2020, Air China Cargo started its ownership reform back in 2018 after its controlling shareholder China National Aviation, which currently owns 65% of the company’s shares, initiated the mixed-ownership reform. In August 2020, Air China Cargo decided to sell one-third of this stake with an aim to strengthen and optimize its capital and become the e-commerce and logistics integrated service provider with purchasing, transportation, and sales capabilities.
While having a total of 15 freighters on its fleet including three Boeing 747-400F aircraft, four Boeing 757-200PCF freighters, and eight Boeing 777F cargo planes, Air China Cargo also operates all its parent company’s Air China passenger jets belly compartment business.