Debt-laden HNA Group will sell Ingram Micro for about US$7.2 billion (HK$56.16 billion), the biggest asset sale for the company that had one of the biggest corporate downfalls in Chinese history.

US private equity firm Platinum Equity signed a definitive agreement to acquire the closely held technology distribution company from a Shanghai-listed HNA unit, said a statement that confirmed an earlier Bloomberg report.

The sale is expected to be completed by the first half of 2021.

For HNA, which is now effectively controlled by the Hainan provincial government, the deal represents the biggest transaction in a deleveraging campaign that began about three years ago and resulted in tens of billions of dollars worth of asset sales.

Meanwhile, a top Chinese chipmaker’s deepening bond crisis is sending a fresh signal that Beijing is willing to let ailing state-linked firms fail in order to instill stronger financial discipline into a recovering economy.

Tsinghua Unigroup said it won’t be able to repay the principal on a US$450 million dollar bond, which would trigger cross defaults on a further US$2 billion of debt. This would be the company’s first dollar bond repayment failure and came after it defaulted on a 1.3 billion yuan (HK$1.5 billion) local bond last month.

Premier has suggested enhancing the long-term investment capacity of insurance capital to prevent speculative use of insurance capital; setting up a supervision ratio for investment equity assets of insurance capital of up to 45 percent of the company’s total assets; and encouraging insurers to take part in major projects such as infrastructure and new urbanization construction.

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