Dubai Debacle II

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Seeing as how the ports deal was such a hit, it looks like we’re in for a sequel.

A Dubai company is now seeking to buy American arms manufacturers.

Dubai, which agreed this month to sell its interest in U.S. ports, said its $1.2 billion takeover of a U.K. company with U.S. plants that make military equipment is delayed while the authorities investigate security concerns.

Dubai International Capital LLC, which is owned by the government of the Persian Gulf emirate, and Doncasters Group Ltd. agreed to delay the transaction by as many as two months from March 31 while government agencies review the purchase, Sameer Al Ansari, Dubai International’s chief executive, said in an interview today.

“After what happened with Dubai Ports, the government is looking at this deal more closely,” Al Ansari said after a press conference in Dubai announcing an agreement with HSBC Holdings Plc.

Dubai’s bid may ignite a similar political furor in the U.S. to that the emirate’s purchase of London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. caused last month when DP World had to agree to sell interests in six U.S. terminals. Revenue from Doncasters’ nine U.S. plants, which make parts for tanks and military aircraft, account for about 40 percent of total sales.

The derailing of the ports plan was a setback for President George W. Bush, who was rebuffed by fellow Republicans and stung by polls that showed strong public opposition to the sale. Dubai is one of seven sheikdoms making up the United Arab Emirates, from where two of the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks came.

I think I’ll sit on the sidelines and watch this being played out.