1 July 2011 – Financial Times
By Daniel Thomas, Property Correspondent
David and Simon Reuben, the billionaire entrepreneurs, have paid about £130m ($208m) in cash for the Piccadilly Estate, the former home of the “In and Out” club in London’s West End.
The deal brings to an end a long-running process in which the Grade-I listed building on Piccadilly and its surrounding 1.3-acre estate came close to a sale several times in the past year. It was previously owned by the family trusts of Simon Halabi, the property investor.
The estate comprises six freehold buildings, which have a planning consent for a six-star hotel and private members’ club. However, property agents said higher values might be obtained from turning the buildings into residential, which could command some of the highest prices in London given the central location opposite Green Park. Jones Lang LaSalle is advising on the sale.
The sale comes as another trophy West End property, the art deco Adelphi building on the Strand, is close to being bought by Perella Weinberg, the private equity group, for more than £260m.
The deals underscore the intense interest in prime London property.
The Adelphi, which is being sold by Dubai’s Istithmar World, would be Perella Weinberg’s first property acquisition in the UK. The building, which is let to the Department for Work and Pensions and several financial groups, is also seen as having a longer-term value as a residential conversion. In March, Istithmar instructed CB Richard Ellis to sell the 306,000 sq ft building, which had been acquired for $525m in 2006.
Perella Weinberg declined to comment.