Tech billionare buys Sydney mansion for record price

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Sydney (AFP) – Tech billionaire Scott Farquhar has bought a Sydney waterfront mansion for an Australian record Aus$75 million (US$56 million), a report said Monday, after the owners resisted selling the 1863-built home to developers.

The co-founder of Australian software giant Atlassian, which floated in the United States in late 2015, snapped up the iconic “Elaine” from John Brehmer Fairfax, whose family formerly owned the Sydney Morning Herald.

The estate, which stretches down to a harbour beach in Sydney’s prestigious Point Piper, had been in the Fairfax family since 1891 when it was bought for 2,100 pounds. It features horse stables, a tennis court and a ballroom.

Fairfax reportedly resisted larger offers from developers to subdivide the land.

“We’re thrilled with the purchase and honoured to take over the Elaine estate in its entirety from the Fairfax family,” Farquhar, 37, told Fairfax Media.

“It would have been a great loss to see this rare property sold to developers and carved up.

“When we heard of the plans, we just couldn’t let this beautiful piece of Australian history be turned into a development site.”

The price tag set a record for residential property in Australia, the Australian Financial Review said.

It topped the previous Aus$70 million in 2015 when mogul James Packer, who runs worldwide gambling empire Crown, sold his Sydney home to Australian-Chinese billionaire businessman Chau Chak Wing.

    <figure><figcaption>"Elaine", a Victorian mansion in Sydney has been bought for $56 million by tech billionaire Scott Farquhar, May 1, 2017
        <span>Copyright AFP PETER PARKS</span>
      </figcaption></figure>