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pounds 200m property deal boosts Heron recovery

Gerald Ronson's Heron yesterday provided further evidence of its recovery from near bankruptcy in the recession with a pounds 200m property development in South Wales. This is the second big property deal Heron has announced in the last two months.

The project in Chepstow will create 2,000 new homes, 2.5 million sq ft of industrial and commercial space plus community facilities on a 500 acre site. Heron said the scheme would create 2,500 jobs in an area of high unemployment.

This follows Heron's announcement eight weeks ago of a pounds 100m property scheme comprising four projects in London, Madrid and Barcelona.

Gerald Ronson, one of the star players in the Thatcher property boom of the 1980s, faced ruin when he was sent to prison for six months over his role in the Guinness affair.

The banks backing his private petrol station, property and vehicle distribution group decided to keep him on, however, refinancing Heron and leaving him with a 5 per cent equity stake. The relaunch included a group of investors who injected pounds 114m into Heron.