EUROPE NEWS: The Ronson seal

Gerald Ronson, one of the UK’s best-known developers and uncle to famous British DJ Mark Ronson, has set up an opportunistic investment vehicle for UK properties.

Jonathan Goldstein, chief executive of Ronson Capital Partners, said the vehicle is structured as a discretionary, closed-ended club fund with an investment committee. Investors in the club consist of undisclosed sovereign wealth funds and high-net-worth individuals.

Goldstein said the focus of the club vehicle would be on London rather than the rest of the UK, which he called “challenging.” With regard to property types, he noted that residential as well as commercial properties are of interest.

“We are opportunistic in our mindset, so it is a question of finding the right thing,” Goldstein said. “We have a very connected group of people committed to us. The main reasons we have set this up is to take advantage of dislocation at a time when expertise is in short order.”

Ronson’s main company, Heron International, recently proved again how adept it is at development. In April, the company completed the 230-metre Heron Tower, the tallest building in the City of London and the third tallest building in London as a whole, after 1 Canada Square in Canary Wharf and the Shard London Bridge.

Ronson also is returning to his business roots. Having pioneered self-service petrol stations in the 1960s, his Snax24 business reportedly is trying to buy Murco UK, Murphy Oil’s network of 475 petrol stations. That consortium also is in exclusive talks to buy 800 UK petrol stations from France’s Total for about £400 million (€452 million; $645 million).