(Yicai Global) July 25 -- In an open letter to its employees, the keenly-watched Chinese aviation and investment group HNA Group Co. has disclosed details about its ownership structure, including the names and stakes of shareholders and their donation philosophies and plans.
HNA Group is indirectly owned by Hainan Province Cihang Charity Foundation, Hainan Cihang Charity Foundation Inc., 12 natural persons and Hainan Airlines Holding Co. [SHA:600221], per the open letter.
The two Cihang foundations, one of which is based in China, own more than 50 percent of HNA Group. The 12 individuals collectively hold 47.5 percent, and Hainan Airlines Holding has a 0.25-percent stake.
All 12 natural persons are HNA founders or executives and have pledged to donate their shares to the foundations when they resign or die, meaning the foundations' stake in HNA is set to rise and will eventually reach 100 percent, the letter said. Chen Fang and Wang Jian, who are both chairmen of HNA, have the biggest stakes with 14.98 percent each.
The group's ownership structure was designed to address issues of fairness and efficiency during corporate development, the letter said. Executives were given shares to encourage them to work hard to promote HNA's development and will donate the shares they acquired to the Cihang foundations via an equity incentive program upon death or resignation from the company, so their wealth and power will not be inherited. HNA is poised to complete its charity mission and fulfill its social responsibilities globally.
Hainan Province Cihang Charity Foundation is a local non-public nonprofit organization established by HNA with an initial investment of USD2.96 million (CNY20 million), per previously publicly disclosed materials. Its assets are mainly used for disaster relief, poverty alleviation, charitable relief and public assistance. The China-based foundation is managed by the Department of Civil Affairs of Hainan Province. Cihang foundations have become the actual controller of HNA by accepting share donations.
The overseas-based Cihang Foundation was set up last year and is a nonprofit group. It has the same nature as the China-based foundation and will obtains shares through donation from shareholders.
As its overseas business and charity projects grew, HNA founded the New York-based foundation to help it better engage in charitable activities abroad and receive equity donations.
The overseas-based Cihang Foundation owns 29.50 percent of HNA, while the China-based Cihang Foundation has a 22.75-percent holding.
Guan Jun, who reportedly held a stake in HNA, was not referenced in the open letter. Guan, who owned HNA shares as a private investor, has donated his stake to the Cihang groups and does not hold a position in the company, HNA told Yicai Global.