British real estate moguls the Reuben Brothers, David and Simon, are currently engaged in a massive project in the English city of Newcastle. They say that their new Reuben Brothers development there will create 10,000 new jobs.
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— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 21, 2021
As this is going on, Jamie Reuben, the son of billionaire David Reuben, has invested his own money in Newcastle United Football Club. “This is his independent investment – not the Reuben Brothers,” a source close to Newcastle United told the UK’s ChronicleLive. “He worked hard to finalize the deal. He met the new team and departed the same day, leaving Amanda, the asset manager, to continue to oversee.”
Reuben’s RB Sports & Media purchased a 10% stake in the club, with the rest going to the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), venture capital and private equity company PCP Capital Partners. Locals have been unhappy with their team getting bought out by the Saudis. Some have been coming to matches dressed in joke Raba outfits in mockery of Arab culture. But no one in England cares who owns their club as long as it wins.
The joint purchase is yet another sign of the warming up of the decades long cold war that went on between Israel and the Arab Gulf States. While never actually joining any of the many Arab-Israeli wars over the years, those countries did bankroll terrorist groups and gave their support to any group that attacked Israel.
But all that changed in recent years as the old saying “money talks” proved true. This led to the Abraham Accords last summer which has now seen the Arab countries of Morocco, Sudan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates all make peace with Israel. And Suadi Arabia is one of the other area Arab nations that, while declining to open formal ties, has been engaging in closer business ties with both Israel and with prominent Jewish businessmen around the world. Once upon a time, such an association for any Arab country would have been unthinkable.
Congratulations to my great pal @jamiereuben on his acquisition of @NUFC. I know first hand from when you were on our @QPR board just how much you love football and how astute you are…. enjoy the ride brother it’s the greatest privilege in the world. pic.twitter.com/xSgXwRxUIU
— Amit Bhatia (@Amit_Bhatia99) October 17, 2021
As for Jamie’s father and uncle’s Newcastle project that is under development, they say that it will create more than 4,500 construction jobs. And the Saudi’s are involved in this as well.
The Reuben family is part of the takeover group with Amanda Staveley and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and has been long-term investors in the city, particularly through the acquisition of development sites on Newcastle’s Pilgrim Street.
After lying dormant for a number of years, construction work started last year on the former Bank of England site at the lower end of Pilgrim Street, which will be turned into the Bank House development set to be completed in 2023. Plans have also been announced in recent weeks for Pilgrim’s Quarter, an office development at the top end of Pilgrim Street currently occupied by Stack and Commercial Union House, while planning permission has been granted for two office developments at Pilgrim Place.
The Reubens say that their Pilgrim Street scheme will also see the creation of a five-star hotel in the former fire station building, with leisure operator Bespoke Hotels having signed a lease on the site. The Reubens recently bought Monument Mall and also the building used by the Tyneside Cinema, Newe House, and the Broadacre House office block on the corner of Market Street.
Elsewhere, the Reubens own Arena Racing, which operates 16 racecourses around the UK, including Newcastle, plus a number of greyhound tracks, including Newcastle and Sunderland. Subject to final approval, the company is set to announce that Newcastle will next April host the All-Weather Championships final. With more than £1m ($1.4 million) in prize money, the fixture will be the richest race day ever hosted at Newcastle.