Times Online: ‘Business Big Shot’ – Paul Reichmann, Property Developer

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paul-reichman-smallTimesOnline reports: Paul Reichmann is likely to allow himself a wry smile as the rejuvenation of Canary Wharf continues apace. The veteran property developer, 78, was the driving force behind the creation of the landmark development in London’s Docklands 22 years ago, after securing the personal backing of Margaret Thatcher, then the prime minister. She all-but-sealed the Wharf’s future as the de facto alternative to the City after agreeing to extend the Jubilee Line to the site.The Vienna-born Reichmann, the son of a wealthy egg merchant and part of a family of Orthodox Jews, spent much of the subsequent two decades on a roller-coaster ride – he lost control of Canary Wharf twice, thanks to a shortage of tenants and the downturn in commercial property values. Last week, Reichmann effectively ended his association with Canary Wharf after it emerged that Songbird Estates, the controlling shareholder, had bought an 8.45 per cent stake that he had owned. Reichmann’s holding was pledged against loans from Dresdner, the German bank that was bought by Commerzbank earlier this year. Commerzbank sold the holding on Friday for £112.5 million.

paul-reichmanReichmann first lost Canary Wharf – which for a time was the world’s largest property development – in 1992, when his Olympia & York developer was forced into bankruptcy with a debt bill of $20 billion.

Although the collapse wiped out most of Reichmann’s personal fortune, he quickly rebuilt his empire. In 1995, after teaming up with investors including George Soros and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Saudi billionaire, he bought the Wharf back from its lending banks and became chairman, later floating the company.

But in 2004, a takeover battle for Canary Wharf erupted, one that pitched Brascan, a Canadian developer, against the Songbird consortium, which included Morgan Stanley and British Land. Reichmann, a Canadian citizen, threw his weight behind Brascan, but Songbird won the contest with a £1.9 billion bid.

Crisis loomed again for Canary Wharf last year after a sharp slide in property values left it close to breaching its covenants. But late last month, Songbird agreed a £1 billion rescue refinancing backed by the state of Qatar and China Investment Corporation, the sovereign wealth fund. Songbird will flesh out the details at its half-year results this week.

{Times Online/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}

7 COMMENTS

  1. “In 1995, after teaming up with investors including George Soros and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Saudi billionaire”!!!

    Two of the biggest Rishoyim, Soniey Yisroel alive today! How can one have Hatzlacha, teaming up with such low lifes?!

  2. Goerge Soros is not a Sonei Yisroel. He IS a Yisroel. He has political hashkafos that are very anti our perspective. As much as we Torah Yidden generally support the republican agenda, being anti republican does not make one a sonei Yisroel. And I am a major dittohead.

  3. “Two of the biggest Rishoyim, Soniey Yisroel alive today! How can one have Hatzlacha, teaming up with such low lifes?!”
    Actually George Soros is not a sonei Yisroel at all (neither is Prince Alwaleed for that matter).
    Regardless, Paul Reichmann has alot of Hatzlocha in his life and has probably given more money to tzedakah than any Jew in History.

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