21 December 2008 – RACING POST
PROPERTY and investment entrepreneurs David and Simon Reuben have taken their stake in Arena Leisure to 20.53 per cent, after acquiring ten million shares in two transactions. One deal balanced the disposal of two million shares by investment company New Star Asset Management.
The deals, which were notified to the stock exchange on Friday, take the ReubenBrothers’ holding in Arena to nearly 74.8 million shares.
In April 2007, the Reuben Brothers group bought rival racecourse group Northern Racing in a deal worth £90m, and returned the company founded by the late Sir Stanley Clarke to private status. At the same time it emerged that they had acquired a 14 per cent holding in Arena.
A further tranche of shares came into Reuben Brothers’ possession in September this year, and the latest manoeuvre is certain to raise further speculation that the two groups may get even closer together in 2009.
Grand National-winning owner and Jockey Club member Trevor Hemmings remains Arena’s biggest shareholder, with more than a 40 per cent stake through two separate business vehicles.