Tecom in talks with Dell over joint venture

WEFME: Dubai-owned investment firm also expects to make three acquisitions this year.

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By  Will Rasmussen Published  May 18, 2008

Dubai-owned Tecom Investments is in preliminary talks on a joint venture with Dell and says it expects to make up to three acquisitions in the Middle East and Africa this year, including a mobile phone firm.

At least one of the purchases is likely to be in the UAE, Abdullatif Al-Mulla, chief executive of Tecom Investments, said in an interview in Sharm El-Sheikh ahead of a World Economic Forum (WEF) conference.

Tecom owns stakes in mobile phone operators in Tunisia and Malta, as well as in the UAE's Du telecom. The company also operates business parks in the region.

"We want to expand in the services business," Al-Mulla said. "We want to address bigger targets and complement our business."

Tecom has been in contact with Dell, the world's second-largest personal computer maker, about a possible joint venture, Al-Mulla said, declining to be more specific about Tecom's plans.

"We've had very rough discussions with them," Al-Mulla said of Dell. "We want to see what they want to put on the table."

Last month, Dell's chief executive said the company expected to boost profits as it moves resources to faster-growing emerging market regions.

Michael Dell projected that by 2011 half the units sold in the industry would be in emerging countries as more than 500 million new businesses would be created.

Much of the company's growth last year was from outside the US, in areas such as the Middle East and China, where unit sales were growing between 54 and 70% a year. (Reuters)

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