File picture: Richard Vogel/AP.
File picture: Richard Vogel/AP.

Polish billionaire splashes $74.7m on London home

By Deirdre Hipwell Time of article published Feb 22, 2020

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INTERNATIONAL - Polish billionaire Dominika Kulczyk bought a house near Harrods department store in London for £ 57.5 million ($74.7 million), in the latest sign that the city’s long-moribund luxury real estate market is slowly returning to life.

Kulczyk bought a property in a prime Knightsbridge garden square from Mike Spink, a residential developer best known for selling an historic mansion near Buckingham Palace last year to hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin. Kulczyk made the purchase by taking control of the Farringdon Property Trust, filings show.

Spokespeople for Kulczyk and Spink declined to comment.

The top of London’s residential real estate market saw some blockbuster deals in recent months as the world’s wealthiest rushed to take advantage of the weak pound and wrap up deals before a potential new tax on purchases by foreign investors could kick in. Chinese property magnate Cheung Chung Kiu agreed last month to buy a palatial home in Knightsbridge for more than 200 million pounds, breaking the capital’s price record.

Subdued Prices

Yet the sale also makes clear that while deals are picking up, prices are generally still lagging behind. The amount Kulczyk paid for the house -- a comprehensive redevelopment of two stucco-fronted Georgian townhouses -- was below Savills Plc‘s 65 million-pound valuation, another filing shows. Prices for luxury homes in London’s toniest areas were flat last month, halting a 12-month decline of 2.1%, according to a report from broker Knight Frank.

A spokesperson for Savills declined to comment.

Dominika Kulczyk and her brother Sebastian inherited a fortune from their father Jan Kulczyk, who was Poland’s richest man after making a series of well-timed investments in the infrastructure, beer, oil and motor industries after the fall of communism. He died in 2015, leaving behind a fortune then estimated at $3.5 billion. Sebastian Kulczyk is the owner and chief executive officer of Kulczyk Investments, which runs portfolios across a number of sectors, including energy, infrastructure and real estate.

BLOOMBERG 

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