Reuben brothers 'ready' for shoot-out to settle Olympic Village dispute

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The Independent Online

The Reuben brothers, the billionaire property owners embroiled in a dispute over the £4bn Stratford City project that will house most of the 2012 Olympic Village, have declared themselves "ready and willing" to purchase the development rights to the site from its owner, London & Continental Railways.

In an open letter to LCR and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Reubens stress they are poised to compete in a "shoot-out" auction for the land that is aimed at ending the bitter rows between the warring developers. The Reubens own 50 per cent of the development rights, while Stanhope and Sir Stuart Lipton, its former chairman, and Westfield each own 25 per cent.

The Reubens, who were upset last month by remarks made when Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, waded into the argument, said they require "no preconditions". They add: "Incidentally, it would be our desire to win that auction and go forward with a very successful development." It is understood that Westfield has laid out pre-conditions, including requesting a "full waiver" from any future legal proceedings in relation to the site. The investment bank NM Rothschild is handling the auction.

Mr Livingstone fuelled tensions when he told the Reuben brothers, who are British but hail from India, to "go back to Iran and try their luck with the ayatollahs".

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