A consortium of marble suppliers is expected to bid $3.9 billion for the world’s largest marble supplier in a bid to secure the supply of marble for the new luxury hotels and shopping malls in Dubai and the Middle East.
The bid by the Qatar-based consortium of Marble Falls, a Dubai-based company, would be the largest private investment in the sector in more than three decades, said Shoaib Javed, chairman of the consortium and the head of marble supply chain at the Marble Falls marble supply company.
The bid is the largest since the $5 billion bid by a group led by the Danish company Archipelago for a consortium of luxury hotels in 2009.
The Dubai bid would be larger than the $2.8 billion the consortium of the British firm ArcelorMittal put forward last year for the supply, Javed said.
The new consortium will also have a stake in the global marble supply chains of the leading global marble suppliers, he added.
Javed said the bid would include the acquisition of 50 percent of Marble Industries, a global marble production company.
Marble Industries operates in over 50 countries.
The consortium will control 50 percent.
The remaining 50 percent will be held by Marble Falls and its parent company, the Qatar Company.
The Dubai bid was expected to be made public Monday.
The Qatar bid was initially expected to come before the U.S. presidential election in November.
The United States has made no public statement on the bidding process, which began in March and has not been subject to any formal public review.
The U.K. is also considering a bid, and the New York Times reported that a New York City firm is also in talks to bid on the marble supply.
The Times has not reported on the Dubai bid.
The two other bids have been made public before.
Last year, the Dubai consortium, which is also headed by the Kuwaiti-based Diamandis Group, bid for the $1.7 billion deal by the Japanese conglomerate TPG.
TPG has yet to formally submit its bid.
Ahead of the Dubai bidding, the consortium had raised a range of concerns about the Dubai marble market, including the lack of sufficient competition and its limited supply of key minerals, including dolomite, mica and marble.