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7 interesting facts about Mumbai-born Reuben brothers who saved Sahara

Finally, Subrata Roy of the Sahara group after cooling his heels in the jail for the last 14 months, has got a saviour in the form of the Reuben brothers. According to media reports, David and Simon Reuben has inked a Rs 5,500 core debt refinancing deal with group, helping the group save three marquee hotels from being sold off on default.

Bank of China had placed Grosevnor House Hotel on the block after the group defaulted on repayment of a loan it had taken to buy it in 2010. The group had also bought Park and Dream Downtown in 2012.

 7 interesting facts about Mumbai-born Reuben brothers who saved Sahara

Reuters image

According to the PTI report citing The Sunday Times, David and Simon Reuben clinched the purchase of two loans against the properties from Bank of China late last week and they have given a four-month extension to the Sahara Group, which is now also struggling to arrange Rs 10,000 crore bail amount for its boss.

Here are a few interesting facts about the reclusive brothers who are going to bail out Roy:

1. David and Simon Reuben were born in Mumbai to a Jewish business family. They migrated to the UK in 1950s, when the brothers were teenagers. They got secondary education in the UK's schools. David is now around 76 and Simon 73.

2. In the The Sunday Times rich list published in April 2015, the brothers were ranked the fifth wealthiest in the UK and the wealthiest in the real estate space there. Their net worth stood at 9.7 billion pounds. Forbes Rich list of 2015 ranked hem at 80, behind the Hinduja Brothers. Their net worth was put at $13.9 billion.

3. The self-made bilionaires made their fortune through investments, real estate and metals between the 1970s through to the 1990s. They now have data centres and also have interests in horse racing. According to Forbes, Simon started his business by importing carpets and buying real estate. David was engaged in metals trading. In 1990s, they teamed up and entered the Russian aluminium market through Transworld, a company David had founded in 1977. They remained the largest foreign investors in Russia through out the decade.

4. A profile of the two in The Guardian notes that what paid off for them was the entry into Russia when other investors were wary of doing anything in the post-Soviet, "chaotic capitalist" market. Transworld bought large chunks of the privatised Russian aluminium sector but had to sell it off for 300 million pounds to oil giant Sibneft in 2000 as the business climate in the country turned hostile for them under Vladmir Putin. Transworld enjoyed 7 percent market share in the global aluminium market.

5. They are also known for their philanthropic activities. They founded Reuben Foundation in 2002 with an initial endowment of $100 million, their website says. The foundation focuses on education, health and the community.

6. There have been controversies surrounding their business in Russia, where they partnered with many controversial figures like Lev Chernoy, who was later alleged to have ties with Russian Mafia. According to The Guardian, a profile published in the Forbes had kicked off a long winding legal battle with the brothers slapping a legal notice on the publication in 2000. However, the article says there had been nothing to suggest their dealings were not above board. Explaining the controversies, the article cites David as saying in an earlier interview: 'I was the only westerner to succeed in a place that's like a toilet (read Russia) and you always come out of a toilet with a smell.'

7. According to PropertyWeek, the brothers own London Oxford airport, many properties in Europe and Art’otel, a boutique chain. In 2011, they had bought Cambridge House in Picadilly, which they are now turning into a 45-room palace worth 250 million pounds ( says this report in Daily Mail). Other properties that the brothers own in the UK include Millbank Tower; the American Express offices (Victoria); Carlton House, Academy House on Sackville Street, Connaught House on Mount Street, an eight storey office building on Berkeley Street, etc. ( You can see the full list of their realty holdings and investments here)

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Updated Date: Jun 08, 2015 14:22:14 IST