Micheal Jackson’s Neverland sold to his ex-friend for $22m
Published: 11:44 AM, 25 December 2020
Micheal Jackson’s residence The Neverland has been sold for $22m to his former friend Ron Burkle; Photo: Collected
Micheal Jackson’s residence The Neverland has reportedly been sold to a billionaire for a quarter of its initial asking price.
“Ron Burkle, a former friend of Jackson, recently bought the estate in Los Olivos, California,” Burkle’s spokesman said.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Ron Burkle paid $22m for Neverland. The 2,700-acre (1,100 hectares) estate was first listed for $100m in 2015.
Since then Neverland, north of Santa Barbara city, has been on and off the market, listed most recently last year for the lower price of $31m, BBC reported.
Micheal Jackson bought the estate for about $19.5m in 1987 and named as ‘Neverland’ - named after a fictional island where children never grow up in JM Barrie's Peter Pan story.
He later turned the compound into an entertainment complex, building a zoo and playground on-site, where he regularly entertained children and their families.
However, Neverland became the center of various investigations into child sexual assault allegations against Jackson in the 1990s and 2000s, but he denied the allegations. In 2005, he acquitted of allegations of abusing a 13-year-old boy at the estate.
After that, Micheal Jackson never returned to Neverland and died at another home in Los Angeles in June 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Since his death, Neverland has been rebranded as Sycamore Valley Ranch and has undergone extensive redevelopment.
Burkle’s spokesman said the businessman saw the investment as a “land banking opportunity.”
Ron Burkle, 68, a co-founder and managing partner of Yucaipa Companies, LLC, a private investment firm. His net worth as of 24 December 2020 was estimated to be $1.4bn, according to business magazine Forbes.
Source: BBC, Wall Street Journal, Forbes