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Ukraine’s Richest Billionaire Akhmetov Buys $221 Million French Estate

Ukrainian industrialist Rinat Akhmetov is worth an estimated $6.7 billion.
Ukrainian industrialist Rinat Akhmetov is worth an estimated $6.7 billion.

Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov has bought a lavish, 14-bedroom mansion for 200 million euros ($221 million) in the French Riviera town of Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat, the Financial Times (FT) reported on January 27.

The seller of the nearly 200-year-old home in the south of France, Italy-based beverage company Campari Group, had announced an agreement to sell it to an unnamed buyer in August.

The acquisition of the 19th-century Palladian mansion and botanical gardens adds to Akhmetov’s growing real-estate portfolio, which includes a penthouse in the upscale Knightsbridge neighborhood of London at One Hyde Park purchased for a then-record $221 million in 2011.

Akhmetov, 53, is Ukraine’s wealthiest person whose net worth is an estimated $6.7 billion by Forbes.

A native of the eastern Donetsk region, Akhmetov accumulated his wealth in metals and mining and owns a sprawling business empire that includes coal mines in the United States, and energy, engineering, finance, media, and retail companies in Ukraine. He also owns the Shakhtar Donetsk soccer team.

He was still based in Donetsk -- Ukraine’s industrial heartland -- when Russian-backed forces started fighting the Ukrainian Army there in April 2014 in a war that has killed more than 13,000 people.

FT cited a statement it obtained from Akhmetov’s System Capital Management (SCM) announcing the latest property purchase.

“SCM Holdings Limited investment company announces the acquisition of a real-estate asset, Volla ‘Les Cedres (France), from the Campari Group,” the statement read as quoted by FT.

The Italian beverage maker acquired the 18,000-square-foot mansion in 2016 as part of a deal when it bought Societe des Produits Marnier Lapostolle, the maker of the orange liqueur Grand Marnier.

Campari immediately put the estate on the market with an asking price of 350 million euros, making it the most expensive abode in the world at the time.

It was built in 1830 and once belonged to Belgian King Leopold II. The purveyors of Grand Marnier bought it in the 1920s, according to Bloomberg.

It stands on 14 hectares of land and has a vast botanical garden.

With reporting by Bloomberg, Forbes, Financial Times, Variety, and Mansion Global
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