Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov has lost 40 million euros after refusing to purchase one of the most expensive villas in France, reports AFP.
A year and a half ago the Russian press announced that the villa in France on the French Riviera was to be bought by the oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov. Initially, the owner of the luxury real estate Lili Safra has put up the villa of "Leopold" in the town of Villefransh-Sur-Mer near Nice, which formerly belonged to her husband, the Lebanese billionaire, for $ 700 million. Then, among the potential buyers was also mentioned another Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. However, the agreement was signed with Prokhorov. The price of the villa by that time was reduced to 560 million dollars, which, however, did not prevent it from being the most expensive villa ever bought in France.
The villa of Leopold was built in 1902 by the King of Belgium Leopold II, in whose honor got its name. For some time one of the owners of the villa was the head of the Italian Fiat company Gianni Agnelli.
According to one of the versions, Prokhorov was compelled to abandon the purchase of villa in connection with the global financial crisis. However, a number of difficulties arisen after the termination of the agreement and main of them is inability to return a deposit of 40 million euros, which was introduced as a confirmation of the transaction. The representatives of Mikhail Prokhorov expected to return the deposit. However, according to the French law, in case of cancellation of the contract by the buyer the deposit may not be returned. This fact was confirmed by a court in Nice. On 1 March 2010 French court decided not to return the deposit amount to Prokhorov.
For the last few years Côte d'Azur and luxurious villas in the vicinity of Nice became the object of attention of the most Russian oligarchs. The interest of visitors from Russia made the villas of France in this part of the French Mediterranean probably the most expensive in the world. The average price of homes in the area of Antibes and along the so-called "billionaires quay" until recently was about 10 million euros.