DI's corporate arm to develop three more glass making units

Jose Franco
Filed on August 5, 2007

DUBAI Dubai Investments', or DI's corporate arm, Glass LLC, will be developing three more glass producing facilities in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan over the next three to six months as part of its ongoing expansion to address the region's construction boom.

This will bring to four Glass LLC's new regional subsidiaries with a combined investment of over Dh300 million, according to Khalid Kalban, managing director and CEO of DI, the largest investment company listed on the UAE stock exchange.

He added yesterday that this would bring to Dh1.5 billion from Dh1.2 billion the total regional investments of Glass LLC that include the glass company launched in Qatar last week and the four operating subsidiaries in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Also yesterday, Kalban said Emirates Building Systems (EBS), which manufactures steel structures and is a subsidiary of Dubai Investments Industries (DII), would have a turnover of Dh1 billion in three years' time due to its ongoing expansion projects. DII is DI's investor arm that targets both new and established industries in the local and regional markets.

He said EBS, which in May sealed a partnership with India's SKS Ispat & Power Limited, would be setting up more facilities in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, thereby increasing its combined production capacity to 200,000 tonnes of steel per year. It has an existing plant in Dubai's Jebel Ali.

Kalban announced yesterday the partnership between Glass LLC and Abdullah Abdul Ghani & Sons, a Qatari group of companies, to create a Doha-based joint venture to address the growing demand for glass and glass products in Qatar's booming construction market.

Before embarking on its present expansion programme Glass LCC already had four subsidiaries two in Dubai (Emirates Glass and Lumiglass Industries), one in Abu Dhabi (Emirates Float Glass), and one in Riyadh (Saudi American Glass Company).

Kalban said that after the Doha partnership, the next project would be to acquire 49 per cent of a five-year-old glass company in Amman. "We have been talking for the last three months and we [Glass LLC] are now in the process of evaluating the company with regard to the proposed partnership in which they [other party] already agreed to our 49-per cent ownership," he said.

He also said that M'Sharie Company, DI's venture capital which buys into small- and medium-sized businesses, has seven deals in the pipeline, three of which had already been approved by the board. M'Sharie has 18 existing subsidiaries.

Globalpharma, another DII subsidiary, has likewise embarked on a regional expansion programme that would bring to 68 from 45 the number of medicines that it manufactures and distributes in the region by year-end.

With a subscribed capital of Dh1.28 billion ($350 million), Globalpharma is Dubai's first pharmaceutical manufacturing facility adhering to global standards and is owned 65 per cent by DI and 35 per cent by Kopran Ltd, one of India's leading healthcare companies.

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