The Real Deal New York

David Geffen quietly sells 785 Fifth pad to Roman Abramovich’s BFF for $25M

Dreamworks co-founder bought the unit for $14.2M in 2010
By Meenal Vamburkar | May 08, 2018 06:28PM

David Geffen and 785 Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images)

Entertainment mogul David Geffen quietly sold one of his apartments at white glove co-op 785 Fifth Avenue to a Russian-American businessman for nearly $25 million, according to city records.

Geffen sold unit 17AB to Russian-American oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler for $24.5 million, according to the deed, which hit records on Tuesday. Geffen bought the 5,000-square-foot unit in 2010 for $14.17 million.

It doesn’t appear that the unit was listed for sale, and Geffen has a history of not using brokers on his real estate deals. When he bought the apartment in 2010, he didn’t hire an agent.

Even after the sale to Shvidler, Geffen will still maintain an outsized presence in the building. His penthouse, which he bought for a then-record $54 million in 2012, is one floor above Shvidler’s new digs. Geffen has been trading lawsuits with neighbors over construction work at his pricey aerie.

Shvidler, the buyer, is a close friend and business partner of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. The pair started the oil trading outfit Runicom S.A. in 1995 and then partnered to gain control of oil company Sibneft, which was later acquired by the state energy company Gazprom. Shvidler is also chairman of Millhouse LLC, an investment vehicle reportedly controlled by Abramovich.

Shvidler, who keeps a lower profile than his friend, bought a home in Aspen, Colorado for $14.5 million and is also said to have paid $37 million for a home in London. He also owns a chateau and vineyard in Bordeaux, France.

Shvidler courted controversy last year when he docked a 370-foot superyacht — a gift from Abramovich — in front of the Statue of Liberty for two months, ruining tourists’ views.