China's HNA buys currency exchange firm ICE

May 20, 2016

Chinese conglomerate HNA Group has acquired International Currency Exchange (ICE)—one of the most established and respected retail currency exchange brands in the world.
This is a major transaction, involving one of Think Retail’s longstanding clients and we are excited about what this means for ICE in Canada. 
HNA is a Global Fortune 500 company and this acquisition is part of a strategic effort to expand outside of Asia. It brings with it major growth potential for the ICE brand.
At Think Retail, we have worked with ICE since 2008, plotting its expansion coast to coast and we will be sharing soon details on the next phase of its growth.
Founded in the UK in 1973, ICE is one of the world's largest currency exchange retailers, with more than 350 locations in 19 countries.
The company has solid roots in Canada that go back more than a quarter century. ICE boasts a number of strong strategic partnerships and in 2012 was named the exclusive foreign exchange partner of the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA).
Founded in 1993, privately-owned HNA has evolved from a local aviation transportation operator to a conglomerate with several core divisions, including aviation, real estate, capital, tourism, hospitality, technology and logistics. ICE will become part of HNA Tourism, which specializes in air travel, hospitality management, tourism, finance, investment and e-commerce.
The acquisition "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 internationalization," HNA Tourism said in a statement.
With its huge international presence, ICE was the ideal acquisition for HNA. In Canada, ICE already has more than 50 locations coast to coast, in shopping centres, retail hubs and most major airports, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria and Quebec City.
Under the leadership of co-founder and chairman Chen Feng, HNA has grown into a conglomerate with nearly $100 billion in assets.
At Think Retail, we are excited to see where HNA takes the ICE brand. We look forward to working with the company as it capitalizes on this marquee acquisition. For more, visit, or contact the Think Retail Team.