23 July 2008 – Financial Times
The billionaire Reuben brothers have taken advantage of the ongoing crisis at property and financial services group Dawnay Day to buy full ownership of Oxford airport.
David and Simon Reuben, who made their names in property investment, have been expanding their activities into the aviation sector. Oxford airport was acquired last summer for about £40m by the brothers’ Aldersgate Investments in partnership with a subsidiary of Dawnay Day.
They were also recently linked with bids for business class-only airline Silverjet and Southend airport. It is not known how much the brothers paid for Dawnay Day’s Oxford airport stake.
Dawnay Day, headed by Peter Klimt and Guy Naggar, has been forced to sell a range of investments after margin calls on derivative investments.
The first to go was a stake in F&C Asset Management, followed by many of the Aim-listed funds Dawnay Day had set up.
Administrator BDO Stoy Hayward was called in to take control of parts of its financial services business last weekend, and is also administrator to recover £750m in loans made by Norwich Union.
Further bad news emerged yesterday for the beleaguered group as Aim clients of Dawnay Day Investment Bank began to appoint alternative Nominated Advisers (Nomad) amid mounting uncertainty over the company’s future.
Aim companies are required to have a Nomad at all times otherwise their shares are immediately suspended. If DDIB were to lose key staff, it might no longer satisfy the London Stock Exchange’s requirement to possess an Aim license. However, its existing licence remains in force.