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NEWS Last modified on April 15, 2016

China's HNA Group to buy airport currency exchange specialist ICE

HNA Tourism has agreed to buy global foreign exchange specialist, International Currency Exchange (ICE), from UK-based investment holding company Lenlyn Holdings Limited for an undisclosed fee.

Founded in 1973 and headquartered in London, ICE has a network of over 350 branches and bureaux in 70 airports and multiple non-airport, high footfall locations in 19 countries across the globe.

ICE's main business activities include foreign currency exchange and foreign currency ATM operations and it turns-over in excess of £1bn in currency per annum.

According to purchaser HNA Tourism, a subsidiary of China's HNA Group, ICE is well-known and characterised by its vibrant and trusted international consumer brand. 

HNA Group, a Global Fortune 500 company, is a diversified mainland China-based industrial conglomerate, with business interests across aviation (Hainan Airlines), tourism, financial services, logistics and eco-tech. 

To date, its service network extends over Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe and the Americas, offering access to: a fleet of 152 aircraft; 450 hotels across more than 30 countries and territories; 1,102 cars for rent and over 80 travel retail stores. 
HNA Tourism Group says: "The acquisition of one of the world's largest currency exchange companies, ICE, adds significant weight to HNA Tourism’s building of an integrated industry value chain, as well as adds wings to our global coverage of financial services for overseas tourism, and will provide important support to the acceleration of the pace of our internationalisation". 

While Koko Sarkari, CEO of ICE says: "The acquisition of ICE by HNA Tourism represents a major vote of confidence in the quality of ICE and marks the next phase in the growth story of the Company, providing great opportunities for future expansion.

"We have a phenomenal platform from which we can build and grow ICE even further, and I am confident that it will continue to go from strength to strength under HNA."

Deloitte Corporate Finance acted as exclusive financial adviser and Addleshaw Goddard as legal adviser to Lenlyn Holdings on the sale to HNA.

The transaction remains subject to customary regulatory and other approvals and consents.

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