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From Reuters.

A Russian billionaire who failed to complete a deal to buy one of France's most beautiful houses also lost his deposit on Monday, to the tune of 39 million euros ($53 million).

Mikhail Prokhorov had made several bids to buy the
sprawling villa Leopolda de Villefranche-sur-Mer before owner Lily Safra accepted a price of 390 million euros in 2008.

But Prokhorov, a nickel magnate who topped Russia's rich list last year according to business magazine Finans, pulled out of the sale as the financial crisis broke in late 2008.

The owner has said, however, that Prokhorov's deposit will be donated to medical research.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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