Business Irish

Saturday 24 June 2017

Bloodstock kingpin's family buys €52m estate in Britain

Billionaire John Magnier
Billionaire John Magnier

Jack Sidders and Sharon Smyth

The family of John Magnier, the bloodstock billionaire, has acquired the Sutton Scotney Estate in Hampshire from a unit of Zurich Insurance Group, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.

Most of the land is leased to farmers and the family doesn't intend to change how the estate is run in the near-term, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal is private. The estate is about 60 miles south-west of central London, and was sold through Savills for about £45m (€52m). The estate includes 24 homes and more than 4,000 acres (1,619 hectares) of land, according to the broker's website, which also indicates that the property was sold this month.

A spokeswoman for Mr Magnier declined to comment. Rajan Lakhani, a spokesman for Zurich Insurance, confirmed that the estate was up for sale, but declined to confirm that the Magnier family is buying it.

Coolmore Stud based John Magnier is a well-known investor, with a fortune estimated at €2.2bn in last year's Sunday Independent rich list. He and fellow horse-racing tycoon JP McManus recently sold an office and retail building on the exclusive Place Vendome in Paris for €1bn, a reported profit of €350m on the deal.

Having made his initial fortune from bloodstock, Magnier has invested widely, including an interest in the exclusive Sandy Lane Resort in Barbados, the imposing Unilever office block on the banks of the Thames in London, and previously a stake in English soccer club Manchester United. He also breeds thoroughbred horses through the Coolmore operation and also owns real estate.

Zurich Insurance took control of Sutton Scotney when it bought Eagle Star Insurance, which proposed building 12,500 homes on the land, but was blocked by planners. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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