HNA group: China conglomerate boss Wang Jian dies in Provence

HNA group: China conglomerate boss Wang Jian dies in Provence

HNA group: China conglomerate boss Wang Jian dies in Provence

The source close to Wang said he was visiting France on a business trip and took a break to visit Avignon.

Wang, 57, suffered serious injuries after falling Tuesday while on a business trip in Provence, France, HNA said.

In April, HNA disclosed plans to sell at least some of its more than $6.5 billion stake in hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., according to a US regulatory filing.

The Chinese company employs over 400,000 people worldwide. Subscribe to the Standard Group SMS service by texting "NEWS" to 22840. Local police said Wang's fall was likely an accident, Reuters reported.

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The company's website was changed to the colour grey on Wednesday morning as a gesture of respect to Wang Jian.

Wang held a 15 per cent stake in HNA.

Furthermore, Guo had even predicted more than one year ago that HNA's top management team members would die in an accident due to their secret ties with Chinese officials, according to a former employee of Voice of America.

After spending more than $40 billion on a buying spree, it become the largest shareholder in companies such as Deutsche Bank AG and Hilton.

Naturally, Wang was instrumental in building this corporate empire, with a labyrinth of domestic entities such as HNA Aviation & Tourism, HNA Logistics, HNA Capital and HNA Technology, and was part of the process of slimming down a bloated organization.

Wang graduated from the Civil Aviation University of China with a degree in airline management and held an MBA from the Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands. In 1990, he helped establish Hainan Provincial Airlines Co. and was one of the founders of the group. The conglomerate now has more than 10 airlines among its affiliated companies. Last year, regulators in New Zealand blocked HNA from purchasing a auto loan company out of concern over the company's financial stability.

Most of HNA's Shenzhen and Shanghai-listed subsidiaries have been suspended since late previous year amid the company's efforts to restructure assets for debt relief.

Concerns about HNA's financial situation mounted in the ensuing months amid government scrutiny over the country's most high-profile acquirers of foreign assets. This explains why HNA's dollar bonds fell after the company confirmed the news of his death. The seller cited cashflow problems at HNA as a factor.

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