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Billionaire Brothers Raise U.S. Property Bet With LA Project

(Bloomberg) — David and Simon Reuben are continuing their run of big investments in U.S. real estate, financing a $275 million loan for a major construction project in Los Angeles.

The British billionaire brothers funded a senior mezzanine loan for the $2.5 billion redevelopment of the city’s Century Plaza site, according to a statement Friday. They previously acquired a stake in another loan for the project, which includes two residential towers, retail space and a luxury hotel.

The siblings have completed a string of deals in the U.S. this year. In February, they finalized financing for the Time Hotel in New York and the Apthorp, an apartment building on the city’s Upper West Side. Three months later, they acquired Manhattan retail property near Rockefeller Center from SL Green Realty Corp. for about $170 million.

The Reubens control one of the world’s biggest portfolios of retail, office and residential properties. Sons of Iraqi Jews, they were born in India and moved to London as teenagers. They built a fortune trading metals and later invested in real estate, leisure and technology firms. They have a combined net worth of about $12 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Many of the world’s rich from Zara founder Amancio Ortega to banking magnate Joseph Safra have long favored real estate, an asset offering stable cash flows, tax breaks and leverage opportunities.

Read more: Ultra-rich families with cash on hand pile into private debt

Meantime, those lending privately — like the Reubens — often focus on real estate, with property developers turning to wealthy individuals or their investment firms for extra flexibility and faster access to cash than most banks can offer. In return, the private lenders typically get the security of an asset-backed loan that provides consistent cash flow from interest payments.

The Reubens have been active this year outside the U.S., as well. They have made a push into Madrid’s residential market, bought almost 90 hectares (222 acres) in Spain’s Balearic Islands and backed a takeover bid for the Newcastle United Football Club. They also donated about $100 million to Oxford University’s newest college, which will bear their name.

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