Ingram Micro's Chinese owner confirms sale talks

The Chinese owner of the world's biggest technology distributor Ingram Micro has confirmed it is in talks to sell the business, less than three years after acquiring it.

In a notice to the Shanghai stock exchange Chinese conglomerate HNA Group said it was currently in talks with the aim of offloading the business, mentioning 'changing market conditions', which may or not be taken as a reference to the growing trade war between the US and China.

HNA said: “Due to changes in market conditions and the company’s strategy, the company is in talks with a concerned party on selling Ingram Micro.”

The HNA takeover of Ingram Micro had to be given US government clearance because of the US-headquartered company's prime position in the US and global electronics supply and logistics food chain.

US private equity firm Apollo Global Management is believed to be in pole position to buy the distributor, according to reports from both Reuters and The Wall Street Journal. 

HNA is reportedly hoping to sell Ingram Micro for around $7.5bn, which includes $1.5bn of debt. HNA acquired it for around $6bn in cash in February 2016.

Speculation about a sale had been fuelled by HNA's recent selling off of other different assets, as part of an attempt to strengthen its balance sheet by cutting costs. HNA still had around $3.55bn of outstanding debt from the purchase of Ingram Micro, as of September 2018.

A move by Apollo to acquire Ingram Micro would follow its acquisition of managed cloud services firm Rackspace in August 2016. It also owns a stake in US IT solutions provider Presidio.

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