The world’s billionaires were this week making discreet inquiries about buying one of Switzerland’s most prestigious homes – the late Marc Rich’s Villa Rose on Lake Lucerne.
The controversial founder of Glencore, who was granted a US presidential pardon for Iran sanctions-busting and tax evasion during Bill Clinton’s last days in office, left a sizeable property empire including the luxurious Swiss pile with one of the best views of the lake.
His two London-based daughters are reportedly selling all his property assets including Villa Rose, a Sfr50m (£34m) chalet in the Graubunden resort near St Moritz and a luxurious beachside residence in Marbella. They are also liquidating a struggling Spanish real estate business, Andria, which Rich set up in 1999.
Spanish court papers at Andria’s bankruptcy proceedings reportedly show it has €170m (£144m) of assets and €150m of liabilities.
Co-founded by the architect Leon Benacerraf, Andria built 1,100 residences and has a land bank of two million square feet.
But it is Villa Rose that is attracting most attention, with its 10,117 square metres of grounds and grandiose 700 square metre main building.
Rich, who died in June aged 78, reportedly tried to sell it for Sfr100m last year but the deal fell through. Now local agents say it is worth Sfr60m.
Richard Kilstock, the British entrepreneur husband of Rich’s daughter Daniella, is said to be in charge of “streamlining” the late tycoon’s assets.
It is not clear what the daughters plan to do with Rich’s huge art collection, which has included masterpieces including works by Van Gogh.