- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 7, 2006

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Dubai-owned company yesterday announced the $1.3 billion purchase of Doncasters Group Ltd., which operates factories that make parts for U.S. military vehicles and aircraft.

Dubai International Capital reached the deal two months after U.S. lawmakers stopped a different Dubai company from buying a British firm that operated terminals at six U.S. ports. The lawmakers cited national security concerns about an Arab company conducting operations at the ports.

The Doncasters purchase passed two months of scrutiny by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, a 12-agency panel headed by the U.S. Treasury Department that reviews transactions involving national security.

The White House approved the deal last week, after American lawmakers said they were satisfied with the review.

“This acquisition allows Dubai International Capital to move forward with its investment strategy to build a diverse portfolio of direct investments across various industries around the world,” Chief Executive Officer Sameer al-Ansari said.

British-based Doncasters produces parts at plants in Connecticut and Georgia for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a $256 billion multinational project, and the M-1 Abrams tank.

“This was a transaction that was thoroughly reviewed and closely scrutinized,” said Scott McClellan, outgoing White House spokesman. “In the view of the committee, it does not compromise our national security.”

Initial congressional reaction indicated there would not be the opposition that prevented the deal by government-owned Dubai Ports World, which was forced to give up control of U.S. port terminal operations it had bought from London’s Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. for $6.8 billion.

Dubai International Capital bought Doncasters, which operates nine facilities and employs about 1,000 people in the United States, from Royal Bank of Scotland Equity Finance.

The Dubai investment firm’s acquisition follows a series of other high-profile investments, including its $1 billion investment in DaimlerChrysler AG.

Dubai International Capital is the investment arm of government-linked Dubai Holding.

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