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Tue 8 Apr 2008 04:52 PM

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Al-Futtaim to pay $409mn for Singapore retailer

Dubai family-owned group says it may buy 95% of Robinsons and delist company.

Dubai family owned Al-Futtaim Group said it will probably end up paying about 1.5 billion dirhams ($408.5 million) for Singapore department store operator Robinson & Company.

Al-Futtaim may buy as much as 95% of Robinson and delist the firm from the Singapore exchange, James McCallum, director of Al-Futtaim Global Private, told reporters in Dubai.

Al-Futtaim increased its stake in the company to 88% from 60.8% on Thursday, it said in a statement in Dubai.

It will probably borrow about 50% of the cost of the purchase, McCallum said.

Al-Futtaim, a UAE group with interests from property development to retail, said on Thursday it raised its bid for Robinson, winning acceptance from Indonesia's Lippo.

Al-Futtaim raised its offer to S$7.20 from S$7.00 a share after extending the deadline for its offer to April 30 from April 3. It originally bid $6.25 in January.

Robinson operates Robinsons, John Little and Marks & Spencer stores in Singapore and Malaysia.

Lippo Group is controlled by the Riady family, which is ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 12th richest in Indonesia.

Stephen Riady, executive director of Auric Pacific, a Lippo unit, said in a statement that the group will use the proceeds from the sale of Robinson to focus on its other retail and food and beverage businesses. (Reutersl)

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