HONG KONG's Cathay Pacific has agreed to pay HK$4.93 billion (US$628.1 million) for 100 per cent of Hong Kong Express (HKE) a budget airline partly owned by the HNA Group, based in the island province of Hainan.
Payment is expected as HK$2.25 billion in cash and a non-cash component of HK2.68 billion, said Cathay.
The transaction is expected to complete on or before December 31 when HKE will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific.
"HKE captures a unique market segment and together with the extensive network of the Cathay Group could multiply connection opportunities through Hong Kong. This represents an attractive and practical way for the Cathay Group to support the long-term development and growth of our aviation business and to enhance the competitiveness of the Hong Kong hub during a time of intense regional competition."