Dubai Int’l seeking ‘bolt-on’ buyouts in 2007

By Will McSheehy DUBAI, Bloomberg

Dubai International Capital LLC, a private equity company owned by the emirate’s ruling sheikh, is seeking “bolt-on” buyouts to complement companies it already owns and will focus on U.S. and Asia expansion this year.

“Finding the right bolt-on deals, and also expanding in the U.S. and Asia through secondary buyouts and co-investments” will be the company’s 2007 focus, said Chief Executive Officer Sameer al-Ansari in a statement posted on Dubai-based business Web site Ame Info yesterday.

Dubai International manages about US$5.5 billion that it invests on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. It sold 80 percent of Tussauds Group, owner of London’s Madame Tussauds waxworks museum, to Blackstone Group LP this month for US$1.9 billion. It still owns stakes in DaimlerChrysler AG, Doncasters PLC and Travelodge Hotels Ltd.

State investors from the Persian Gulf are increasingly turning to Asia to secure higher returns and consolidate relationships with their biggest oil customers. Dubai-controlled Istithmar PJSC last year bought a US$1 billion stake in Standard Chartered Plc, the London-based bank that makes about two-thirds of its profit in Asia. Kuwaiti and Qatari state funds both bought stakes in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China before its record initial public offering.