By John Irish
Sharjah-based industrial and property group in 'initial talks' to buy French factory from Continental.
UAE industrial and property group MAG said on Sunday it was in "initial" talks with Continental AG to buy a factory in France but it was too early to talk about striking a deal."The MAG Group confirms that it is currently in contact with official authorities in France and with Continental regarding the possible sale of the plant in Clairoix," MAG said in a statement.
"Discussions are in the initial phase ... further meetings and in-depth studies should be conducted on the industrial, economic and financial plans to enable MAG Group to bring together the different elements to take a position on this opportunity," it added.
French Minister for Economic Recovery Patrick Devedjian said on April 23 that the UAE firm had made a "serious" offer for the plant, but accused Continental of trying to deter MAG from taking the Clairoix factory, which the German auto parts group wants to close down.
Investors from the Gulf, the world's largest oil-exporting region, slowed down their investments in Western companies when oil prices started to tumble last year.
However, Abu Dhabi last month bought a 9.1 percent stake in German car-maker Daimler through its listed investment vehicle Aabar, suggesting Gulf investors are beginning to eye bargains.
About 1,100 French Continental employees on Thursday demonstrated in Hannover, where they were joined by staff from Continental's plant in the northern German city, which is also facing closure.
A MAG spokesman told Reuters the group was looking to expand its "activities" in Europe, but with talks beginning only six days earlier it was still "very early" to talk about a deal or its value. (Reuters)For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.