Billionaires rush to country estates


AROUND THE BLOCKWhat is it with billionaire businessmen and luxury country estates in Ireland?

In 2011 we reported that the 242-acre Coolmore country estate in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, formerly owned by property developer and charity founder Niall Mellon had been bought for around €3.5 million.

Now the identity of the buyer has been revealed by the Kilkenny People as Frank Sixt, one of the most successful money managers in the world. Sixt, in his early 60s and a mobile telecoms billionaire, is also executive director and group finance director of Hutchison Whampoa, the company that owns direct majority interests in a number of 3 Mobile companies around the world, including Ireland.

Coolmore underwent extensive refurbishment under Mellon, but apparently the cranes are out and another refurbishment is under way. Security at the site has been increased.

Last December billionaire US businessman John Malone emerged as the buyer of Humewood Castle in Co Wicklow, having paid €7.225 million for the luxury home and its 427-acre estate.