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DIC confident of getting US regulatory approval

Jamila Qadir
Filed on March 3, 2006

DUBAI — Dubai International Capital (DIC), the second Dubai firm, which is facing a US national security investigation into one of its acquisitions, is confident to get the US regulatory approvals regarding its acquisition of Doncasters Group Limited and finalise the transaction as originally planned, according to a top company official.

Sameer Al Ansari, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai International Capital, said yesterday that despite the probe, the company was confident the deal will close as per schedule. He said the company was pursuing all appropriate US regulatory approvals regarding its acquisition of Doncasters Group Limited, as is customary for international business transactions of this nature.

He said: “We are confident of obtaining those approvals and finalising the transaction as originally planned. We believe the acquisition will provide a stable platform for Doncasters to grow and add value for all its stakeholders.”

Last year DIC, the international investment arm of Dubai Holding, signed an agreement to acquire UK-based Doncasters Group Limited (Doncasters) for Dh4.5 billion from Royal Bank of Scotland Equity Finance.

Doncasters Group Ltd, a British precision-engineering company, which operates nine subsidiaries in the US, including plants in Rincon, Georgia and Groton, Connecticut, makes precision parts for US defence contractors, such as components used in engines for military aircraft and tanks. Its customers include Boeing, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney and General Electric.

The investment follows a series of strategic, value-driven investments by Dubai International Capital including a $3.6 billion investment in DaimlerChrysler, the Dh5.1 billion acquisition of The Tussauds Group, along with its anchor investments of $999 million in JD Capital investment company in Jordan and $550 million in Ishraq, a company formed to develop and own up to 22 Express by Holiday Inn hotels in the Middle East.

The Washington Post reported yesterday the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US has launched a national security investigation into Dubai International Capital’s takeover of Doncasters Group Limited. It said the Bush administration had notified congressional committees this week that the White House’s secretive Committee on Foreign Investment in the US is investigating the security implications of Dubai International Capital’s acquisition.

Reports of the probe come amid a political storm over the Dh25 billion takeover of UK’s Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) by Dubai Ports World (DP World), which is facing opposition to its taking control of terminals at six US ports.

P&O provides services at more than 20 ports in the US, including operations in Baltimore, Miami, Newark, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia.

The deal, under which DP World would manage six major US ports, has drawn criticism from several US lawmakers concerned giving control of port facilities to the state-owned DP World, saying that it would threaten national security and undermine security in the vulnerable shipping sector.

Earlier this week, the White House agreed to a new 45-day security review of DP World, while last month, an initial government probe had approved the deal. DP World agreed to a 45-day investigation to stem the protest and allay concerns of a possible breach of US port security.

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