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WJS: Dubai Holding Unit Buys ...

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I found this article from The Wall Street Journal.
Hope enjoy it![:)]

Dubai Holding Unit Buys
$1 Billion Stake
In DaimlerChrysler

January 31, 2005; Page A6

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Dubai International Capital, a recently established investment unit of state-owned Dubai Holding, has bought a $1 billion stake in DaimlerChrysler AG. In a news release yesterday, Dubai Holding said the stake makes it the third-largest shareholder in the auto maker. DaimlerChrysler said Dubai has made a long-term commitment to the company.

The deal stemmed from a visit made to Dubai by Chief Executive Jürgen Schrempp last fall, DaimlerChrysler spokesman Hartmut Schick said.

Officials at Dubai Holding and Dubai International Capital weren't available to provide additional details about the acquisition. Three people aware of the transaction said the deal, for around 2% of DaimlerChrysler, aimed to broaden the emirate's investment portfolio into the auto industry.

According to DaimlerChrysler's Web site, its two biggest shareholders as of June 30 were Deutsche Bank AG and the emirate of Kuwait, with stakes of 10.4% and 7.2%, respectively. Mr. Schick said Dubai hadn't bought its stake from either of these two largest investors but wouldn't say from whom Dubai had bought the shares.

DaimlerChrysler's shares closed Friday at $45.02 on the New York Stock Exchange. Based on that price, a $1 billion investment would buy Dubai Holding about 22 million shares of the company, or about 2.2% of the 1.01 billion shares outstanding as of the end of September.

With dwindling oil reserves, Dubai has diversified its economy away from energy, focusing on trade, services and real-estate development. The value of the emirate's desert land has risen sharply in recent years, providing the government with a strong source of income.

The deal also may have a strategic element. The people said talks between the two sides already have touched on the possibility of DaimlerChrysler's setting up a manufacturing operation with Dubai.

"Dubai wants to broaden its economy, and it will now seek to persuade Daimler that its low labor costs are ideal conditions for the firm to set up spare parts of manufacturing plant in the emirate," said one of the people familiar with the deal.

Dubai Holding is owned by Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and includes several businesses that used to be under the umbrella of his private office. Dubai International Capital, launched in October with Samir al-Ansari as its chief executive, is the private-equity and strategic investment arm of Dubai Holding. On its launch, Dubai Holding's chief executive, Mohammed al-Gergawi, said the firm aimed to promote and support the growth of Dubai Holding by creating new opportunities for growth in various sectors.

He also said it would acquire shares in the world's leading companies. In November, Dubai International Capital signed an investment cooperation agreement with China to help Beijing's top companies expand globally, especially in the Middle East. Dubai Holding's other units include real-estate company Dubai Properties, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Dubai Healthcare City.
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