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Al Habtoor eyes IPO of Engineering & Other Units

Dubai's Al Habtoor Group said it is considering selling shares in its engineering and other units next year under a new law allowing families to keep control of businesses after initial public offerings.

Leading Australian contractor Leighton Holdings said on Monday it will pay about $707 million for a 45 percent stake in Al Habtoor Engineering as it expands in the Gulf market.

'We are studying a possible public offering of some our companies next year ... the most important one is Al Habtoor Engineering which has billions of dollars in projects,' the group's chairman, Khalaf Al Habtoor, told Al Arabiya television.

Al Habtoor is one of the Middle East's biggest engineering firms and one of the builders of Dubai's sail-shaped Burj Al Arab -- the world's tallest hotel.

Al Habtoor Engineering was established in Dubai in 1970 and has more than 25,000 employees. It is part of the Al Habtoor Group, a family-owned conglomerate that also has interests in hotels, real estate, publishing and luxury cars.

Khalaf Al Habtoor is ranked by Forbes as the 22nd billionaire in the Middle East, with a net worth of some $2.5 billion.

The UAE last month approved a legal amendment allowing families to own as much as 70 per cent of their companies after IPOs. Earlier, families had to sell at least 55 per cent of their stock in IPOs.Reuters


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