HNA co-chair Wang dies in fall from wall
Chinese conglomerate HNA Group co-chairman Wang Jian has died during a business trip in France in what police say appeared to be an accidental fall from a wall while posing for a photograph.
Wang (57) is regarded as the architect of an eye-popping $50bn (€43bn) acquisition spree that saw HNA accumulate assets ranging from a stake in Deutsche Bank to high-profile overseas properties. Under pressure from Beijing, HNA has since sold off many of the assets to cut debt. HNA controls Bohai, owner of Irish-based Avolon.
Wang was in charge of HNA's strategy and ran day-to-day operations, sources familiar with the matter have said, while his fellow chairman and co-founder Chen Feng was often the public face of the group.
Wang fell 15m from a wall in the village of Bonnieux, near Avignon, a picturesque area popular with tourists, Lieutenant-Colonel Hubert Meriaux of the Vaucluse gendarmerie force told Reuters.