There is a newer update on the update now – Russian buyer forced to pull out of purchase of La Leopolda
Despite all the guesses and news reports about the price paid for La Leopolda in Villefranche, the latest I am hearing is the price paid was not 500 million Euros
It was in fact, 365 million Euros. ($545 million US) Still no news on the buyer, but I doubt this will remain a secret for long. The entire point of paying this much for a property is to be able to tell your friends how much money you paid.
This is still a staggering amount of money to pay for a single property – regardless of the location. Although, the real estate agent responsible for the sale took a massive discount on the usual commission. He apparently accepted a measly 1%, so his commission was only 3 million or so. 🙂
A few newspapers are talking about a backlash against the amount of Russians buying property on the Riviera, but this is untrue. There is not a backlash against Russians per se, more against the nouveau riche attitude to waste that many Russian billionaires have. Being able to spend 365 million on a property you will only use 10 days a year is an example, but wasting food to show how wealthy you are is prevalent amongst the latest influx.
I will not name any names, but it would not be unusual to order 50 lobsters for 10 guests and make certain 40 of them are thrown in the trash, just to prove how wealthy one is. The more you can waste, the more money you have – simple. This is what is getting to the locals. Many French people have a healthy respect for food, both in the care and preparation, but also what happens to it afterwards. It is to be shared and enjoyed, not dumped in the trash.
Edit 18th August – Nice Matin is now reporting (unconfirmed as yet) that the mysterious buyer is Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who was arrested by French authorities last year for involvement in a prostitution ring. No charges were bought, but Mr. Prokhorov swore never to set foot in France again, so who knows.
Edit 20th September – New rumor – Andrey Melnichenko, owner of the mega yacht “A” is the buyer. Nothing solid yet.
There are some more photos of La Leopolda here.