Ukrainian billionaire purchases Henry T. Sloane mansion

June 23, 2011 09:02AM

The Henry T. Sloane mansion at 18 East 68th Street, between Madison and Fifth avenues, sold at auction yesterday to its only bidder — Alexander Rovt, a Ukrainian-born billionaire fertilizer magnate — for less than $40 million, the amount in principal and interest owed to the first mortgage lender, Madison Realty Capital, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In fact, Rovt’s costs were slightly less, the Journal said, as shortly before the auction Rovt purchased the debt owed to Madison Realty Capital at a $5 million discount.

According to Rovt’s broker, Matthew Lesser of Leslie J. Garfield & Co., other potential buyers bowed out when it became apparent that Rovt was in a position to buy out the first mortgage.

As previously reported, the residence, which boasts more than 30 rooms and Beaux-Arts touches, had been bounced back and forth between brokerages and the asking price was $64 million during the boom. If the mansion had sold for $64 million in 2008, it would have been the most expensive single residence sold in New York’s history. 

The seller, an investment group managed by banker Joseph Ingrassia, had defaulted on more than $28 million in loans. The group bought the property for $20 million from an owner listed under a limited liability company.

Rovt plans to restore the entire mansion as a single-family house and live there, according to Lesser. [WSJ]