Saudi prince sells 2K-acre UK estate to Bahrain’s royal family for $165M

Bandar bin Sultan owned Glympton Park for nearly three decades

National Weekend Edition /
Apr.April 03, 2021 09:00 AM
Glympton Park and Prince Bandar bin Sultan. (Getty, Twitter via NicholasKingsle)

Glympton Park and Prince Bandar bin Sultan. (Getty, Twitter via NicholasKingsle)

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a Saudi royal and longtime senior government official, sold a sprawling estate northwest of London to Bahrain’s royal family.

Records show that Glympton Park traded hands in February for more than $165 million, according to Bloomberg Wealth. The buyers were Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and his son, Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Glympton Park spans 2,000 acres and centers on an 18th-century mansion. It includes ample parkland and a church dating from the 12th century. Parts of the church have been rebuilt, but some of the original work remains.

The market for high-maintenance U.K. country estates hasn’t been strong in recent years, but that changed with the coronavirus pandemic. Pricing and deal volume were up as of last fall compared to years prior as wealthy buyers looked for more space and domestic vacation options.

Prince Bandar has owned Glympton Park since 1992, when he bought it for 8 million pounds. At the time he was ambassador to the United States. He would later become chief of Saudi Arabia’s main intelligence agency and lead the kingdom’s security council.

He is said to have sunk 42 million pounds into renovations and development, such as adding bullet-proof glass to the driveway and a pheasant shoot.

The sale closed a couple of months after a critical report in the Guardian about taxpayer-funded government assistance paid to Glympton Estates Ltd, the entity that owns the property. The program was designed to help struggling businesses amid the pandemic.

The report found that several entities owned by wealthy foreigners received money through the program. Glympton Estates Ltd received 25,000 pounds in December 2020.

[Bloomberg Wealth] — Dennis lynch


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