Arabtec buys stake in interior contractor Depa

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Arabtec Holding, Dubai's largest listed builder, said on Thursday it will acquire a stake in Depa.

Arabtec Holding, Dubai's largest listed builder, said on Thursday it will acquire a stake in Depa.

Arabtec Holding, Dubai's largest listed builder, said on Thursday it will acquire a stake in Depa, a day after the interior contractor's shares jumped 47 percent on a rumoured buy.

Arabtec said its board had approved the purchase of 149.6m shares in Depa - valued at US$65.8m based on Wednesday's closing share price on NASDAQ Dubai - and it would take effect on November 22.

The builder, in which Abu Dhabi investment fund Aabar owns a stake, said it was buying the shares from various investment funds. It did not disclose the price it paid for the shares.

Shares in Depa soared on Wednesday, hitting a five-month high at US$0.44. About 150m shares changed hands, which is more than what the company's shares traded in the previous two years combined.

Depa said in a statement on Wednesday that "the name of the purchaser, the size of their current stake and their intentions are unknown".

Arabtec and a consortium of Turkish and Greek firms were awarded a US$2.9bn contract in June to build a mid-field airport terminal in Abu Dhabi. In the same month, Depa and its German joint venture partner saw a US$245m contract to fit out the new Doha International Airport terminated.

Depa has been involved in a number of high-profile projects in the United Arab Emirates, including the fitting of the interior for the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.

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