UPDATE 1-Dubai World buys Wal-Mart property firm Gazeley

Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:14am EDT

(Adds quotes from Dubai)

LONDON/DUBAI, June 10 (Reuters) - Dubai World said on Tuesday it had bought property developer Gazeley Limited from Wal-Mart (WMT.N), and a source familiar with the matter said the Dubai government investment firm had paid between 300 million and 400 million pounds ($588-$784 million).

Dubai World would not comment on the price.

Dubai World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said in a statement the acquisition was a milestone in the global expansion plans of its subsidiary Economics Zones World, which operates the 48 square kilometre (18.53 sq mile) Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai.

"This is our first acquisition. I hope we will have more," Salma Hareb, group chief executive officer of EZW, said on the sidelines of a news briefing in Dubai.

"We think that we are going to get more than 25,000 hectares as of now with this acquisition ... We are going big on Russia. We have more or less cornered Europe with this operation ... India and Russia are the focus for us," she said.

Gazeley, which also operates in continental Europe, has built Wal-Mart's distribution warehouses in Britain and China and is helping the world's biggest retailer with its expansion into India and Latin America.

Gazeley's clients include Wal-Mart suppliers such as Procter & Gamble (PG.N) and Nestle (NESN.VX), and third-party logistics firms such as DHL [DHL.UL] and Kuehne & Nagel International (KNIN.VX).

Another Dubai World unit Limitless LLC was linked last month to a takeover of London office developer Minerva MNR.L, while a third, Leisurecorp, said it had agreed to buy the Scottish golf resort of Turnberry. (Reporting by Willian Kemble-Diaz in London and Jason Benham in Dubai) (See www.reutersrealestate.com for the global service for real estate professionals from Reuters).

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