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

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

National Weekend Edition /
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
Nearly 100K homes sold across UK in August ahead of tax break expiration
Nearly 100K homes sold across UK in August ahead of tax break expiration
Nearly 100K homes sold across UK in August ahead of tax break expiration
Credit Suisse Group partners with MARK on $1B-plus rental housing fund
Credit Suisse Group partners with MARK on $1B-plus rental housing fund
Credit Suisse Group partners with MARK on $1B-plus rental housing fund
London fire officials say over 1K buildings unsafe in a fire
London fire officials say over 1K buildings unsafe in a fire
London fire officials say over 1K buildings unsafe in a fire
Swiss National Bank Vice President Fritz Zurbruegg (Getty)
Switzerland’s central bank warns of potential housing bubble as prices keep rising
Switzerland’s central bank warns of potential housing bubble as prices keep rising
Polish President Andrzej Duda and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Getty)
Israel rebukes Poland for law limiting property claims seized by Nazis
Israel rebukes Poland for law limiting property claims seized by Nazis
Pete Townshend and the London mansion (Getty, Pereds)
Meet the old boss: Pete Townshend sells historic London mansion
Meet the old boss: Pete Townshend sells historic London mansion
Co-head of Goldman’s Europe Tavis Cannell with the Paris building (Google Maps, Goldman Sachs)
Goldman Sachs spends $119M on Paris office, retail building
Goldman Sachs spends $119M on Paris office, retail building
(Getty)
Swedish lawmakers agree to abolish mortgage tax deduction, disagree on timing
Swedish lawmakers agree to abolish mortgage tax deduction, disagree on timing
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...