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Tue 6 Nov 2007 12:22 PM

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Abu Dhabi snaps up aircraft maintenance firm

Mubadala buys 40% stake in Gamco, renames firm Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies.

Abu Dhabi snaps up aircraft maintenance firm

Abu Dhabi's government investment firm, Mubadala Development, said on Monday it has acquired a 40% stake in Gulf Aircraft Maintenance (Gamco) to tap industry growth in the Middle East and Asia.

Buying the stake from Bahrain's Gulf Air made Mubadala the sole shareholder in Gamco, which is now named Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies, they said without giving the value of the deal.

The new firm would set up joint ventures as it expands outside the region, Waleed Al-Muhairi, Mubadala's Chief Operating Officer (COO), told a news conference.

"We will be looking for partnerships in the East - India, China - because that's the highest growth area in commercial aviation," he said, adding that some deals are likely to be announced during the Dubai Air Show this month.

"The new company is targeting an $800 million revenue stream by 2012 and plans to invest more than $500 million during the same period. The investment will be made in the business."

"The highest growth area for civil aviation is this region and we are aiming for a significant market share..."

Financing the investments will be through equity and debt, said Al-Muhairi without giving further details.

Growth is being driven by rapid expansions in airline fleets in the Middle East, said John Byers, chief executive of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies.

"Our goal is to grow revenue from a current consolidated base of $300 million to $800 million by 2012," he said.

Plans include construction of hangars for large aircraft such as the Airbus double-decker A380 and the Boeing 777 in addition to building light maintenance facilities, he added.

The new company also plans to set up joint ventures, mainly in Asia, said Al-Muhairi.

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