Russia's Richest Man Wants Deposit Back on Villa Leopolda
December 22, 2009 - Provence Alpes Cote dAzur
Mikhail Prokhorov, Russia's richest man, is seeking to reclaim a $55 million deposit on the world's most expensive property after pulling out of a deal to buy the sumptuous Villa Leopolda on the French Riviera.
Mr Prokhorov, a metals magnate and investor with a fortune estimated at $9.3 billion, had signed a contract to buy the spectacular Belle Epoque mansion on the heights of Villefrance, near Nice, for $750 million.
If the sale had gone through, it would have been the highest sum paid for a house in the world.
The metals magnate signed a sales agreement for the Villa, and French law stipulates that purchasers lose their deposits if they pull out after such an agreement has been signed.
The Villa's owner Lily Safrais reported to have told Mr Prokhorov's estate agents: "The deal was agreed in principle so his deposit is mine." She has said she is donating the deposit to charity.
However, Prokhorov's lawyers are now arguing that that the agreement was rendered null and void due to two technical "anomalies", the London Telegraph reports.
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