Up Front: WHEELER-DEALERS
NEW THAMES TEAM: REICHMANN AND TISCH?
PAUL REICHMANN IS ANGLING to get back into the beloved London office complex he lost to lenders in 1992--maybe with the financial help of CBS Chairman Laurence Tisch, well-placed real estate people tell BUSINESS WEEK. The Toronto property investor showed Tisch around the massive Canary Wharf project in mid-April.
Reichmann needs a deep-pockets partner to bankroll him. He tried a similar approach in Mexico, where he enlisted George Soros, but property deals there took a dive. Now, Tisch, long rumored to be peddling his controlling stake in CBS, may be seeking fresh opportunities.
The investment might make sense. Reason: London's battered office market is recovering, and currently profitable Canary Wharf's occupancy has almost doubled since 1992--it's 75% and climbing. Property experts speculate that Reichmann may want two undeveloped lots. Canary Wharf's banks uill not confirm whether he has made an offer. Tisch won't comment, and Reichmann didn't respond to calls. Sir Peter Levene, who heads Canary Wharf, cautions "not to read too much" into the Reichmann-Tisch inspection visit.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT, WITH OLUWABUNMI SHABI Paula Dwyer