See that house? It’s Lily Safra’s Villa Leopolda, in Villefranche-sur-mer, France. It’s a pretty nice house. So nice that it’s the second-most valuable house in the world, according to Forbes, valued at $750 million in 2008.
That year, Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov tried to buy the house from Safra, putting down a deposit for €50 million (about $75 million USD). But according to Forbes, Prokhorov backed out at the last second, losing his deposit for good:
In second place is Lily Safra’s Villa Leopolda, in Villefranche-sur-mer, France. The estate is reportedly one of several waterside homes that King Leopold II of Belgium built for his many mistresses. Set on 20 acres, the massive home was valued at 500 million euros ($750 million at the time), when Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov tried to buy it in 2008. Prokhorov eventually backed out of deal, losing his 50 million euro deposit.
Prokhorov struck a deal to buy the Nets the next year and officially took the controlling stake for $200 million in 2010, or less than a third of the cost of the house. Makes sense. He declined to buy a depreciating home when you can buy a basketball team now worth roughly five times his investment, only throwing away his pocket change (worth $75 million) in the process.
But still: could you imagine the parties Prokhorov would’ve thrown at this place?