Jackson’s Neverland ranch finally sells – but for fraction of original price

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch has sold for $22m (£16.2m) more than 10 years after his death.

Billionaire businessman and family friend of the Jacksons, Ron Burkle, bought the 2,700-acre estate after spotting it from the air while viewing a nearby property by helicopter.

The estate, near Santa Barbara in California, sold for a third of the latest asking price – which dropped from £73.6m to £49m in 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported.

As well as the 12,500-square foot main residence, the property boasts a 3,700-square foot pool house and a separate building with a 50-seat cinema and dance studio.

Jackson, who died in 2009 aged 50, installed a railway and theme park rides, as well as a zoo.

He named the ranch Neverland after the home of Peter Pan – the boy who never grew up – from the famous children’s story.

The singer vowed never to return to the estate after he was acquitted of molesting a young boy there.

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Michael Jackson's estate sued HBO for $100m (£75m)
Image:Michael Jackson died of an overdose aged 50 in 2009

He handed it over to Colony Capital LLC to hold a loan on the property amid financial troubles.

The Jackson estate was recently granted permission to pursue action against HBO for airing the documentary Leaving Neverland.

The programme featured claims from Wade Robson and James Safechuck that the singer had repeatedly abused them inside the property when they were children.

A US court ruled earlier this month that Jackson’s team could pursue arbitration against the network, as they had signed a contract not to disparage him when they agreed to air his 1992 Dangerous tour.

Mr Burkle is a controlling shareholder of luxury private members club Soho House.

He was contemplating buying the neighbouring Zaca Lake as part of the franchise, but decided it was too remote and expensive for a club.

The businessman sees the investment as a “land banking opportunity”, his spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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