H&M billionaire 'to buy English village'

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The Independent Online

A billionaire Swedish fashion chain owner is reportedly buying an entire English village and the countryside surrounding it. Stefan Persson, 61, who owns high-street clothing giant H&M, is poised to buy the Linkenholt estate near Andover, Hampshire, for £25m.

The deal includes an Edwardian-style manor house, 1,500 acres of farmland, a 425-acre wood, a cricket pitch and 21 cottages leased to villagers, reports said. Mr Persson, whose wealth is estimated at £11.4bn, already owns an 8,500-acre estate in Wiltshire worth £9m, where he hosts partridge and pheasant shoots. He is believed to have had an offer accepted at the top end of the £23m to £25m guide price.

Linkenholt has been run by a charitable trust since the 1970s after its last owner, entrepreneur Herbert Blagrave, died without leaving any children. The property, situated in a designated area of natural beauty, has been on the market since March.

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