The Reuben brothers, the real estate kings who give a pulse to Banco Santander | Economy

The Reuben brothers, the real estate kings who give a pulse to Banco Santander | Economy



David and Simon Reuben direct Reuben Brothers, the British conglomerate that is behind the candidacy that has won the bid for the Financial City of Banco Santander. His proposal has won the first battle to the bank itself – the war still continues because there are pending resources – after submitting an offer to Marme, currently in a situation of bankruptcy, valued at 3,023 million euros, one 50 million more than the proposal made by the entity chaired by Ana Botín.

These brothers, with residence in Monaco, follow the pattern ofself-made entrepreneurs. With a fortune that amounts to more than 15,000 million pounds sterling (17,000 million euros), they have created a real estate empire, although its tentacles also extend to other sectors. In 2004, they bet on innovation and, in a good example of their watchful eye, they took control of Global Switch, the multinational data center that has different offices around the world, including one in Madrid. Only two years later, Reuben Brothers sold a 49% stake to a Chinese consortium for 2,400 million pounds. A big business if you take into account that they bought the firm for only 585 million.

In order not to put all the eggs in the same basket, Reuben Brothers investments are distributed in multiple fields such as debt financing to troubled companies, storage of metals, vessels and banking. They also have other assets such as racetracks, the London-Oxford airport in Kidlington, the London heliport in the Battersea neighborhood, a chain of pubs, greenhouses and the marina of Portosole Sanremo. The string is added an extensive list of properties.

A struggle still to close

Last Monday the Commercial Court number 9 of Madrid failed in favor of the Reuben brothers bid by the Financial City of Banco Santander in Boadilla del Monte (Madrid).

Santander had questioned the financing capacity of British investors after the offer presented through Sorlinda Investment, However, the car defends the solvency with "sufficient guarantees" of the Reuben and stops the attempt of the Spanish bank to buy back its corporate headquarters.

The entity of Ana Botín will file an appeal for reversal before the same judge questioning the validity of the offer. In parallel, Santander will try to exercise its right of first refusal or even buy the property from Reuben themselves who could be willing to sell the facilities to their liquidity needs.

These billionaires have offices, shops, hotels and residential areas throughout London. Among his portfolio are possessions in the exclusive areas of St. James, Mayfair, Kensington and Knightsbridge. A couple of years ago they managed to get the number 94 of Piccadilly, which housed the club In & Out, and several adjacent buildings next to Green Park to make it the most expensive house in the United Kingdom; a residence of 48 rooms with an estimated value of 250 million pounds.

Last August they acquired the hotel The Curtain and Members Club for more than 100 million euros, in the Shoreditch neighborhood, and a few months ago they made a loan to the owners of the charismatic hotel Savoy for a figure exceeding 300 million euros. euros The Reuben ended 2018 with an investment of 1,000 million euros in properties in London. To this heritage in the English capital joins another distributed in New York, Tel Aviv, Monaco, Ibiza and Mallorca where they have recently bought five plots near the facilities of tennis player Rafael Nadal in Manacor. They even considered supporting British businesswoman Amanda Staveley in the failed purchase of Newcastle United, the team coached by Spanish Rafael Benítez.

The activity of the investment group is frenetic. The acquisitions are accumulated in the news of its website and its fortune is ranked 88 in the world, according to Forbes magazine, and the fourth in the United Kingdom. The Reuben brothers began to amass their empire thanks to the extraction of aluminum in the former Soviet Union. His signature TransWorld was favored by the confusion experienced by the arrival of capitalism in the extinct Soviet territory. In 1991 they finally settled in Russia at the hands of local businessman Lev Chernoy, who was later accused of having links with the Russian mafia.

Links with Marc Rich

They were good times and, according to the company, in 1995 TransWorld represented almost 5% of the world aluminum production with sales that reached 7,000 million dollars. However, according to The Guardian, the Reubens did not escape controversy. A report by the World Bank linked the founding of his company with money lent by the American financier Marc Rich, found guilty of tax evasion. The brothers confirmed their dealings with Rich, but denied any funding from the businessman who was pardoned by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office.

These metal tsars left Russia after Vladimir Putin came to power. They sold their company to the oil conglomerate Sibneft of Roman Abramovich, famous for being the owner of Chelsea, for a figure close to 340 million euros. The Reubens turned to London, their host city since the 1950s.

They were born in Mumbai in a family of Jewish immigrants of Iranian descent and after settling in the English capital, they began their journey in the business world. David, the eldest, was always linked to the metals trade, while Simon devoted himself to importing carpets from his native India. After passing through in the aluminum sector they began to invest heavily in properties. The brothers were initially made with the headquarters of John Lewis Partnership in Victoria and the Millbank Tower where they settled the headquarters of Reuben Brothers.

Very reserved and low profile, his only public involvement is with the British Conservative Party, which often make large financial donations.

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