Comrade, can you spare a rouble … ?

Times are tough. Even for Russian zillionaires. Even for Mikhail Prokhorov. He’s the one who agreed to pay over €500 million for a villa – the Villa Leopolda in Villefrance-sur-Mer last August (2008). (I blogged about it twice then: If you have to ask the price you can’t afford it, and What Awaits the Villa […]

Times are tough.

Even for Russian zillionaires.

Even for Mikhail Prokhorov.

He’s the one who agreed to pay over €500 million for a villa – the Villa Leopolda in Villefrance-sur-Mer last August (2008). (I blogged about it twice then: If you have to ask the price you can’t afford it, and What Awaits the Villa Leopolda.)

Prokhorov, described recently in the Russian magazine Finans as Russia’s wealthiest man and in 2008 by Forbes as the world’s 24th wealthiest man, has pulled out of the deal.

Feeling the pinch, he’s not now buying the villa that sits on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean and for which he had promised to hand over €496 million ($729 million / £391 million).

By French law he had to give the seller – Lili Safra, widow of the late Brazilian-naturalized Syrian-Lebanese banker, Edmond, murdered, allegedly by his American male nurse, in his penthouse in Monte-Carlo in 1999 – a €39 million Euro deposit.

Also by French law such a ‘caution’ as it is called here, is non-refundable should the buyer have a change of mind.

Prokhorov has therefore lost the money. But as some Riviera real estate agents are saying, he’s trying to recoup his loss. He’s asked the jet-setter widow to reduce her asking price for the pad to €200 million; in other words he will give her another €161 million, but lose his €39 million he then won’t. Makes sense, I suppose …

Said one agent to the Nice-based daily, Nice-Matin, “Ready, less than eight months ago, to throw down half a billion to offer himself this villa, apparently today Mikhail Prokhorov can’t afford to lose a measly thirty-nine million euros.”

It must be said that it has been reported that Prokhorov has lost €7 billion in the current financial crisis. Roman Abramovich, among other things owner of Chelsea Football Club, and Prokhorov’s rival to top spot on the Russian wealth ladder, has reportedly lost €10 billion. He’s also, according to Riviera real estate agents, trying to sell his villa in Cap d’Antibes. So is another Russian (name not revealed) who paid €55 million Euro for a Cap d’Antibes villa last September.

So what awaits the Villa Leopolda?

Maybe the other Russian novarich who had his eye on the pad – ‘Metal King’ Oleg Deripaska who was Russia’s wealthiest man on Forbes 2008 list – will buy it. It was rumored briefly last August that he was the Russian who had bought the Villa Leopolda.

Or perhaps some Gulf State prince will buy the villa.

Or maybe Lili Safra will sell it to some Hollywood nouveau riche.

But one thing the locals are sure of: There won’t be so many Russians about anymore. Never really liked, they won’t be missed.

They were, as the locals have been saying … over-sexed, over-monied and over here …

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

6 Responses to “Comrade, can you spare a rouble … ?”

  1. 6
    Anonymous Says:

    Hello everyone! Who knows where to upload the film Avatar?
    I even bought the film Avatar for a SMS to http://rsskino.ru/kinofilm/avatar.html , the link was, but download fails, the system will boot quite strange cocoa something.
    Men, advise where to normal as quickly download film avatar?

  2. 5
    Jo Says:

    I must admit I get a bit teed off with these very rich people who complain about how much they have lost in the stock markets lately especially when they have billions left. We have a very few savings funds and right now they are dwindling to almost nothing.

  3. 4
    Catherine Modin Says:

    Shall we pass the collection box. These poor novariche.
    Catherine Modin

  4. 3
    Jo Says:

    More like over sexed, over payed and over ‘ere. You have to drop the h. LOL

  5. 2
    Marilyn Z. Tomlins Says:

    Jo —

    Yes you’re right. The Brits said: over-sexed, over-payed and over here …

    I’ll be quite happy with a 5th of their fortune.

    Marilyn

  6. 1
    Jo Says:

    Which is what the British said about American soldiers during the second world war.

    I should have a tenth of their fortunes.

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