Dubai's Emaar acquires US property developer John Laing
DUBAI (AFP) - Dubai-based Emaar Properties said it has acquired a leading US homebuilding company in a deal valued at more than onEmaar has paid 1.05 billion dollars in an all-cash transaction to acquire John Laing Homes, the second largest privately held homebuilder in the United States, it said in a statement.
The deal, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, creates "one of the world's leading real estate developers in residential homebuilding", it said.
A Dubai government-controlled investment firm in May announced the acquisition of the bankrupt New York-based retail chain Loehmann for 300 million dollars.
Earlier in May, Dubai International Capital, another government-controlled entity, sealed a 1.27-billion-dollar deal to take over British engineering company Doncasters Group, which owns a US company supplying parts to the US military.
The deals come on the heels of the controversy surrounding the acquisition of British shipping giant Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company earlier this year by another government-controlled company, Dubai Ports World (DP World).
Part of that deal would have given DP World the right to operate six major US ports, but this was strongly opposed by the US Congress on security grounds.
In March the Dubai government agreed to cede control of the US operations to a US entity in order to avert a standoff with a major ally.
Emaar is majority-owned by the government of Dubai, the region's commercial and tourism hub. In April Emaar reported first quarter net profit of 1.5 billion dirhams (415 million dollars), up 14 percent over the same period in 2005.
But its revenue also fell 21 percent during the same period.
Emaar is currently building the Burj Dubai tower, which aims to be the world's tallest skyscraper at some 800 metres (2,500 feet) tall.
Record energy prices in recent years have fueled a real estate development frenzy across Arab states in the Gulf region, with countries competing to unveil the biggest and boldest projects.