Dubai partner ‘very happy’ with Trump, keen to work on more projects

Dubai partner ‘very happy’ with Trump, keen to work on more projects
Dubai developer DAMAC owns the Middle East’s only Trump-branded golf course. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 14 January 2021

Dubai partner ‘very happy’ with Trump, keen to work on more projects

Dubai partner ‘very happy’ with Trump, keen to work on more projects

DUBAI: Donald Trump’s business partner in Dubai on Wednesday said he was interested in expanding their commercial relationship despite the storming of the US Capitol last week.

Trump has faced stinging criticism after encouraging supporters on Jan. 6 to march on the Capitol as Congress met to certify his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden. That led to a violent invasion during which five people died.

“Our relationship with the Trump Organization, and especially with (Trump’s son and Trump Organization executive) Eric Trump and his team, is fabulous and we have no intention to cancel or to change that relation,” DAMAC Properties Chairman Hussain Sajwani said.

Dubai developer DAMAC owns the Middle East’s only Trump-branded golf course, the Trump International Golf Club Dubai, which opened in 2017 and is operated by the Trump Organization.

Sajwani said he was “very, very happy” with the Trump relationship and would love to work together on any golf course projects around the world.

Social media companies suspended Trump’s online accounts in the wake of the Capitol assault, while a Trump-owned golf club in the United States has been stripped of hosting a major tournament. Deutsche Bank, Trump’s biggest lender, will not do business with him in future, the New York Times reported.

“We always stay away from politics and we don’t get involved in politics and we have no view on any political issues. We are a very much commercial organization and his organization has served us well,” Sajwani said.


Canadian firm pulls out of Carrefour takeover after France insists ‘No’

Canadian firm pulls out of Carrefour takeover after France insists ‘No’
Updated 16 January 2021

Canadian firm pulls out of Carrefour takeover after France insists ‘No’

Canadian firm pulls out of Carrefour takeover after France insists ‘No’
  • Carrefour has more than 12,300 stores in more than 30 countries and employs 320,000 people worldwide
  • Canada's Couche-Tard has offered to take over the French supermarket giant for 16 billion euro ($19.5 billion)

PARIS: Canadian convenience store chain Couche-Tard has reportedly pulled out of a multi-billion euro takeover of supermarket giant Carrefour after the French government said it would veto the deal.
Negotiations over the 16 billion euro ($19.5 billion) deal ended after a meeting between the French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire and the founder of Couche-Tard Alain Bouchard, Bloomberg news agency said, citing sources.
French ministers had insisted Friday they would not agree to the takeover because it could jeopardize food security, an even more important consideration given the coronavirus pandemic.
In an attempt to reassure ministers, Bouchard had promised to invest billions in Carrefour, said he would maintain employment for two years and that the group would be listed on the Paris Stock Exchange in parallel with Canada, Bloomberg reported.
Contacted by AFP, neither Couche-Tard nor Carrefour had confirmed the information on Friday evening.
Although talks had stopped, anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg said negotiations could resume if the French government changes its position.
But on Friday, France’s Economy Minister made his choice public, telling BMTV and RMC: “My position is a polite, but clear and definitive ‘No’.”
“Food security is a strategic consideration for our country and one does not just hand over one of the large French distributors like that,” Le Maire said.
“Carrefour is the biggest private sector employer in France with nearly 100,000 employees,” he noted, and the group accounts for 20 percent of the food distribution market in the country.
The French statements have not convinced the Canadian government.
A Canadian federal source said while they could understand concerns over allowing a foreign firm to take over such a large national employer, concerns over food security were unsubstantiated.
“But we cannot accuse a leading Canadian company like Couche-Tard of endangering the food sovereignty of an entire country,” the source, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

'Food sovereignty'
On Wednesday, Couche-Tard submitted a non-binding offer for Carrefour, valuing the group at more than 16 billion euros ($19.5 billion).
Le Maire made clear immediately that he was not in favor of a deal involving “an essential link in food security for the French, of food sovereignty.”
The government’s reaction had caused “surprise” at Carrefour itself, according to sources who said the comments were “premature” given that merger discussions had barely begun.
“We haven’t decided yet whether the interest shown is attractive for us,” one company official said on condition of anonymity earlier in the week.
Carrefour has more than 12,300 stores of various formats in more than 30 countries and in 2019 generated a net profit of 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) on revenue of 80.7 billion euros ($97.4 billion).
It employs 320,000 people worldwide.
Couche-Tard has a worldwide network of more than 14,200 stores and earned a net profit of $2.4 billion on sales of $54 billion in its last complete year.
In the United States and several European countries, as well as in Latin America and southeast Asia, it operates under Circle K and other brands.