The billionaire Reuben brothers have agreed to buy a property on London’s Pall Mall for £35 million, further adding to their sizeable estate in the capital.
It comes after the duo were revealed to have pulled out of backing businesswoman Amanda Staveley’s bid to buy Newcastle United.
According to the Evening Standard, an investment vehicle used by property moguls Simon and David Reuben bought the long leasehold of 69-70 Pall Mall from a private UK investor.
The ground floor is used by HSBC and the new owners are planning to refurbish the vacant office floors above the bank.
The details of the 24,125-square-foot purchase were revealed shortly after it emerged the family had been lined up as a potential backer for Staveley’s £250 million bid for Newcastle United.
Staveley’s representative said the Reuben family’s proposed investment had been led by David’s son Jamie. He is reported to have various ventures in his own name and to be a football supporter. He has an office at the family’s charitable arm, the Reuben Foundation.
A source close to Jamie Reuben told the Guardian that they were approached by Staveley in November and agreed financial terms for their involvement.
In December, they understood that the deal was off because Staveley’s offer had been rejected. The family has had no further engagement with it since then.
The official spokesman for Reuben Brothers – a property, private equity and venture capital conglomerate – confirmed that the family did consider whether they might invest in Newcastle.
“It is true that we did have a look at it, but nothing actually happened,” the spokesman said. “We are not investing in Newcastle United either as Reuben Brothers or as any individuals, including Jamie.”
He said Simon Reuben was “pretty emphatic” that the family is not investing and, as Jamie Reuben had led on the talks with Staveley, Simon had called Jamie and confirmed that was correct.
“They had a look apparently, but it didn’t go anywhere,” the spokesman said.
The Pall Mall acquisition is the Reuben brothers’ first purchase of the year.
In 2017 they spent more than £200 million on property in the capital, culminating with the purchase of a St James’s building from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) which could house a new London gallery.
An investment vehicle used by Simon and David Reuben paid around £23 million for 22 King Street, a grade II-listed office block which was used by RBS’s private banking division Adam & Company until it moved in September.
Other purchases have included offices in Knightsbridge.
The brothers also won planning consent to transform the former In & Out members club into a luxury hotel.
The brothers, who are of Iraqi Jewish descent, were ranked at number three in the 2017 Sunday Times Rich List, with a £14 billion fortune from property and the internet.
They own Millbank Tower and are involved in plans to convert a former police station in Newcastle city centre into a “retail and leisure quarter” featuring a hotel, shops and restaurants.
DealMakerz reckons 2018 could be another big year for the billionaire brothers.
Simon and David are clearly not put off by the economic and political uncertainty of Brexit, with the latest deal demonstrating their confidence in London’s property market.
Want to know the story behind Britain's latest property mogul? Why a company is going bust? Our coverage goes beyond run-of-the-mill news on key real estate issues.
Our subscribers are made up of the most influential Founders and CEO's in UK property. Gain a competitive edge and get informed - read what they read.
Understand exactly what the most senior figures in UK property are thinking. Exclusive opinion articles from powerful real estate influencers that move markets.