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Tue 29 May 2007 12:37 AM

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Dubai buys $424m Singapore shipyard firm

Dubai Drydocks World is to take a controlling stake in Singapore's Pan-United Marine Ltd.

Government-owned Dubai Drydocks World said on Monday it had agreed to take over 70 % of Singaporean shipyard operation Pan-United Marine Ltd. in a deal valuing the company at S$647.9 million ($424 million).

Dubai Drydocks World said investors holding 70 % of Pan-United's stock have agreed to its S$2.38 per share cash offer.

Shares in Pan-United closed at S$2.31 on May 24 and the firm has 272.22 million shares outstanding, according to Reuters data.

This is the first global acquisition of Dubai Drydocks World, a unit of Dubai World, a holding company that manages projects for the Dubai government.

Dubai World also runs port operator Dubai Ports World, which acquired British rival P&O, and investment house Istithmar, which bought a stake in bank Standard Chartered last year.

"Acquiring a controlling stake in Pan-United Marine Ltd. is integral to our investment strategy for Asia," Dubai World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said in the statement.

Dubai Drydocks intends to retain "substantially all" employees of Pan-United, said HSBC, which arranged the deal, in an offer document.

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