CC Land Holdings Ltd founder and chairman Cheung Chung-Kiu will pay more than £200 million for a 45-room mansion in London, making it Britain's most expensive deal in recent years.
The record for the most expensive transaction was previously held by Park Place in Henley-on-Thames, Berkshire, acquired by the exiled Russian banker Andrey Borodin for £140 million in 2011. Last year, the US hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, bought a Georgian mansion close to Buckingham Palace for £95 million.
Cheung, the western Chinese property magnate, who owns the £1.15 billion Cheesegrater skyscraper in London, agreed to purchase the 62,000 sq ft mansion for between £205 million and £210 million.
The deal, which was first reported by Bloomberg, was brokered by Beauchamp Estates.
According to Bloomberg, the Knightsbridge deal is possible because of the historic weakness of sterling as a result of Brexit.
The seven-storey property, at 2-8a Rutland Gate, overlooking Hyde Park, was built as four grand family homes in a row before being converted into one vast residence in the 1980s. It has 20 bedrooms, grand staterooms, a swimming pool, a private health spa and gym, underground parking for several cars and staff rooms.
The mansion previously belonged to Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the late former Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, until his death in 2011. It was also home to the late billionaire Rafic Hariri, who had served twice as Lebanon’s prime minister.
According to reports, the sale is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.
Cheung is mulling to use the property either “as a single house for private client use” or converted into an ultra-prime multi-unit apartment scheme”, this is according to media reports in the UK, quoting a statement from the Cheung’s family office.
A conversion into apartments could create a luxury residential scheme valued at an estimated £700 million.
Cheung, born in 1964 in Chongqing, China moved to Hong Kong in 1980 and there he would buy various items like umbrellas, watches, and cassettes to sell in mainland China.
He ventured into real estate, buying agricultural land in Chongqing to develop a residential project called California Garden.
At the age of 29, he became one of the youngest listed company chairman for Yugang International.
In 1999, he took over a family business involved in packaging which he renamed CC Land, which today is listed in Hong Kong and owns properties in China and the Uk.
In 2017 Cheung completed a deal to buy the Leadenhall Building in London, also known as The Cheesegrater for £1.15 billion, and Vodafone's Paddington headquarters for £290 million.
Late last year CC Land bought a stake in a new £1.25 billion property development in London. The developer agreed to a joint venture deal with private equity real estate firm Meyer Bergman, under which it will invest at least £182 million in the redevelopment of the former Whiteleys shopping centre in Queensway.
Both CC Land and Meyer Bergman expect to invest £400 million to bring the redevelopment project to completion with luxury apartments, a hotel, and retail space, while US private equity firm Apollo Global Management, Inc., is providing a construction facility of £850 million.