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Al-Futtaim Group

 Dubai's Al-Futtaim Plans $1 Billion Investments in Global Assets

alfuttaim-investments.jpgDubai's family-owned conglomerate Al-Futtaim Group is planning to invest up to $1 billion globally in the next few years - with five deals in advanced stages.

Deals close to completion include purchases in the east African automotive sector, a construction equipment deal in Saudi Arabia and real estate in Morocco - the Financial Times is reporting.

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 A Dubai-based Conglomerate Acquiring a Dubai-based Tech Company

Dubai conglomerate Al-Futtaim Group has acquired the Dubai-based Futech Software Solutions, an integrated IT focused business service provider.

Since none of them is public, nothing for further investment and take away here. But don’t forget to keep an eye on the usually ignored IT companies based in the Middle East for investment opportunities – and of course on the mighty Al-Futtaim for exit opportunities.

Al-Futtaim began operations in the 1930s. Their address is "P.O.Box 152 Dubai".

 Al-Futtaim to buy Singapore's Robinson for $374 million

The story of Microsoft unsolicited bid to buy Yahoo is now a bit too old and all of us have moved on. But in the eastern hemisphere, a similar story unfolded in the past couple of weeks, involving a conglomerate from Dubai and a giant retailer in Singapore.

On January 20th 2008, only 9 days before the Microsoft offer, ALF Global, a subsidiary of Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Group, announced that is has offered to buy all shares of Robinson and Company Limited (SIN:RBSS), a listed company in Singapore for $374 million.

The Robinson Group, with its founding company dating back to 1858, manages eight retail entities in Singapore and Malaysia under different brands. But Al Futtaim, the Dubai-based conglomerate of more than 40 subsidiaries, seems to be specifically interested in one of them: Marks & Spencer (LON:MKS). Robinson Group holds the franchise for Marks & Spencer in Singapore and Malaysia. (7 outlets in Singapore and 4 in Malaysia), while Al Futtaim operates 9 Marks & Spencer stores in the GCC.

So far Microsoft and Al-Futtaim offers had a similar effect: a ~50% jump in the share price of target companies. Let’s see how the story unfolds in the coming days ...

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