Heron International is to pay a dividend of £17.2m to its investors this year.

Heron’s backers include Larry Ellison, the Oracle chief, Michael Milken, the former junk-bond king and Steve Wynn, the casino mogul.

The last dividend Heron paid at the beginning of 2007 was £80m, although this reflected a one-off boost from the sale of a stake in Crest Nicholson.

Accounts for 2008, which are to be filed with Companies House next month, show that Heron is surviving the property slump in far better shape than the previous recession, when it almost went bust due to its debt.

Financial Times, Daily Telegraph