21 September 2011 – The Telegraph
The billionaire Reuben brothers have submitted a takeover proposal for Arena Leisure, the racecourse operator valued at £132m.
On Tuesday, Arena Leisure said it had “received a proposal from the Reuben brothers in relation to a possible offer for the company”.
Arena Leisure identified the Reuben brothers just one day after the racecourse operator managed to avoid adhering to new Takeover Panel rules that stipulate takeover target companies have to name their potential acquirers once they enter an official “offer period”.
Arena Leisure, whose racecourses include Doncaster and Wolverhampton, was given special dispensation by the Takeover Panel to keep the identity of its suitor a mystery for “the purposes of the transitional arrangements only”.
However, fresh market speculation about the identity of Arena Leisure’s bidder forced the company to disclose the Reuben brothers had approached the company.
They were also set a “put up or shut up” deadline of October 18 as part of the new Takeover Panel rules. There is now a mandatory 28-day deadline from the moment an approach is disclosed for a formal bid to be submitted
The Reuben brothers currently own just under 30pc of Arena Leisure. It is not clear what price the Reuben brothers are willing to pay and whether Trevor Hemmings, the entrepreneur and horse racing enthusiast that owns just over 40pc of Arena Leisure, will accept a bid. Sources who know the Reuben brothers said they rarely pay large premiums for a businesses.
Simon and David Reuben made billions of pounds through their company TransWorld in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union. They have since established themselves as London-based property investors.
Arena Leisure shares gained 5.25 to 36.2p.