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Tue 20 Mar 2007 01:29 PM

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Dubai close to buying US aviation assets

Possible $1.5bn aquisition by DAE "raises security questions", says Democratic Senator.

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) is nearing a deal to buy a series of aviation businesses from U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group for more than $1.5bn, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

As part of the agreement, DAE would buy Landmark Aviation, an aircraft maintenance provider, and Standard Aero, which provides repair and overhaul services at airport terminals for small-jet aviation and some military transports, according to the source.

Carlyle declined to comment on the deal.

An agreement with DAE is likely to face debate in Washington, where last year's state-owned Dubai Ports World's purchase of some U.S. port operations triggered a political firestorm.

Both Democrats and Republicans feared that giving a state-owned Arab firm control of U.S. port terminals would pose a threat to national security. DPW later agreed to sell the port operations to soothe U.S. congressional concerns.

New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, who led the opposition to the Dubai Ports deal, told the Financial Times: "This purchase is not as much of a security risk as Dubai Ports World, but because it deals with maintenance of aircraft, it certainly raises security questions."

DAE is planning to divest the group of 35 small terminals controlled by Landmark Aviation, the source said.

Schumer said, however, that if a review of the deal was done by the committee on foreign investment, Cfius, "and necessary safeguards are taken, the deal is unlikely to have problems in Congress."

DAE and Carlyle are expected to undergo a full review by Cfius, which is controlled by the Bush administration.

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Bazooka 12 years ago

"New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, who led the opposition to the Dubai Ports deal, told the Financial Times: ...................because it deals with maintenance of aircraft, it certainly raises security questions."   Does the Senator know thay all firms in business deal with something. So in his opinion eveyhing poses a security risk in his opinion, especially when these firms are non USA origin !!!!!!!!!!!! Protectionism or racialism ????

MOHAMMAD GHOUSE APCC VFL 12 years ago

GOOD DECESSION BY DUBAI GROUP. I APPRECIATE THEM FOR THEIR DYNAMIC DECESSION.

maryam martin 12 years ago

This sounds like a good venture for the aviation sector of the world, with new doors opening for many people. This will be a positive step to fixing sterotypes of arabs in general. All the best to them.