Vatican police raid another Holy See official over botched London property deal

The church appears to have grossly overpaid for a property in London

TRD NATIONAL /
Feb.February 23, 2020 02:00 PM
Vatican police have been raiding church officials’ offices (Credit: iStock)

Vatican police have been raiding church officials’ offices (Credit: iStock)

Dan Brown wishes he wrote this one: All the Pope’s men are descending on London over an expensive and failed real estate deal.

Vatican police raided the home and offices of Vatican state official Alberto Perlasca, who oversaw the Holy See’s European asset portfolio and was involved in the property botched deal, according to the Associated Press.

The raid comes five months after Vatican police raided several other Vatican offices. No one has been charged.

It appears the Vatican grossly overpaid for the London property at 60 Sloane Avenue in Chelsea and incurred costly fees in the process. In 2014, the Vatican Secretariat bought a 45 percent stake in the property for roughly $200 million through a fund managed by Raffaele Mincione.

Mincione had bought the office property just two years earlier for £129 million, but a few months before the Vatican’s investment, the value of the fund’s equity stake in the office building was tripled after an appraisal by CBRE.

The Vatican deal allowed Mincione to cash out more than his entire initial investment in the property, according to Financial Times. The structure of the deal meant the Vatican paid Mincione millions of dollars in fees after that point as well. Mincione said the deal was transparent and the fees were normal.

At some point, Mincione began planning to convert the office building into a residential building. He secured permits in 2016, but had to take out expensive debt following the U.K.’s vote on Brexit.

Two years later, the Vatican bought out Mincione’s share for roughly £168 million. They also took on £100 million in debt owed to a London hedge fund. Still, work hadn’t started on the conversion.

The Vatican police’s investigation in the deal was triggered when the Secretariat went to the Vatican bank to refinance the debt on the property. [Associated Press, Financial Times]Dennis Lynch


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
550 Kings Road (Credit: Google Maps, Wikipedia)

A 17th century London estate once home to the Queen Mother is on the market for $61M

Nantes, France (Photo by Estelle Ruiz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

European property markets are at a near standstill over coronavirus

Cheung Chung Kiu is no stranger to big real estate deals (Credit: Wikipedia)

Mysterious billionaire who bought $262M London mansion is obsessed with blockbuster real estate deals

Daniel Daggers is out at Knight Frank (Credit: Getty Images)

One of the UK’s top agents marketed a mansion like a US broker. He was fired

Cheung Chung-kiu and 2-8a Rutland Gate in London (Credit: Wikipedia, iStock)

London megamansion sale bests NYC’s $238M condo record

Boris Johnson (Credit: Getty Images)

London sees flurry of commercial deals after Boris Johnson win

From left: 60 Sloane Avenue, Domenico Giani, former head of security of The Vatican, and Vatican City (Credit: Wikipedia and iStock)

Real estate scandal rocks the Vatican

From left: London, Shanghai and Paris

In London, WeWork already reaping rewards of planned Brexit: Global property

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...