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Rothschild family sells last of its Austrian empire for more than $105M

Estate was once part of Europe’s largest private fortune
January 26, 2019 04:00PM

(Credit: Getty, iStock)

The Rothschild family, which held Europe’s largest private fortune in the early 20th century, has sold the last piece of its Austrian empire 200 years later.

The deal was worth more than $105 million, Bloomberg reported. The two trusts that were sold covered some 17,300 acres of forest land in the Lower Austria region. The buyer was Vienna-based packaging firm Prinzhorn Holding GmbH, which also bought an adjacent property from the family last year.

The family descends from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, a Frankfurt-based banker. He established international banking businesses through his five sons in the 1760s and, within Austria, the family was elevated to nobility. Salomon Mayer von Rothschild started doing business in Vienna around 1815 and quickly became the top financier for the Habsburg Empire, as well as the country’s biggest landowner.

The forest land was part of an estate purchased by Baron Albert von Rothschild in 1875. Nazis seized the land in 1938 and it was partially returned to the family after World War II. Rothschild heir Bettina Looram lived there until her death in 2012 and the final two estates were represented by her daughter Bettina Burr, who agreed to sell them.

Many other lavish properties that are tied to Rothschild wealth are still spread throughout Europe and the United States, and even the Caribbean islands. [Bloomberg] – Gregory Cornfield