Buyer Loses $50 Million Deposit on World’s Most Expensive Home
Mikhail Prokhorov has lost his legal battle to win back his €40 million deposit on the world’s most expensive property, located on the French Riveria. The renowned property was once owned by the late King Leopold II of Belgium. Prokhorov, 44, a Russian playboy-magnate worth nearly £6 billion could not reclaim his deposit on the property which he bought for €390 million in 2008.
Mr Prokhorov decided not to complete the purchase due to financial reasons and the declining real estate market.
The current owner, Lily Safra, 71, the widow of Edmond Safra, the banker billionaire who was murdered by his male nurse in Monaco in 1999, plans to retain the property and will donate Mr Prohhorov’s deposit to charity. The court also awarded Mrs Safra €1.5 million in damages. She had been forced to lay off the 27 guards, gardeners, servants and cooks at the villa. They have since been re-engaged.
Under French law, deposits are not returned when the purchaser cancels a promise of purchase.
Mr. Prokhorov’s lawyers argued in court in December that he had not been allowed the statutory week’s cooling-off period. The court rejected this because the property had been bought by a company controlled by Mr Prokhorov. He has yet to decide whether to appeal against the decision.