Gategroup bid

Chinese Firm Bids for Swiss Airline Caterer

Meals on wheels... and wings.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    HNA Group’s goal is to make Gategroup the uncontested market leader in airline catering, a sector that’s in upheaval.

  • Facts


    • HNA Group, the company of billionaire Chen Feng, is offering €1.29 billion for the former Swissair subsidiary.
    • Gategroup’s management board supports the bid, but some investors do not.
    • The proposed sale is likely to be a hot topic at the Gategroup shareholders’ meeting on April 14.
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It’s not only high-quality watches that the Chinese find appealing in Switzerland. Chinese investors are also attracted to the country’s traditional firms.

Among the first Swiss companies to draw their attention were agrochemical giant Syngenta and bottle manufacturer Sigg. Now Gategroup, which provides catering services to airlines, is joining the group.

Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, owned by the billionaire Chen Feng, has offered 1.4 billion Swiss franks (€1.29 billion, $1.47 billion) for the former Swissair subsidiary.

HNA is one of China’s biggest aviation, logistics and services conglomerates, controlling more than ten companies listed on the mainland China and Hong Kong stock markets. Its interests span airlines and airports, aviation leasing and hotels and tourism.

HNA’s goal with Gategroup is to make the catering company the uncontested market leader, according to HNA chief executive Adam Tan. The Swiss currently share the top ranking with the Lufthansa subsidiary LSG Sky Chefs.

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