Billionaire investor Ron Burkle, a former family friend of Jackson, recently bought the sprawling 2700 acre (1100 hectare) estate,this was revealed by his spokesman said on Thursday.
The Warnal said the estate, which was renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch several years ago, sold for $US22 million (approx N8,386,400bn) according to public records.
In 2015, the asking price was $US100m and in 2017 it was re-listed for US$67m.
Burkle’s spokesman said the businessman saw the investment as a land banking opportunity.
He spotted the estate from the air while looking at another location and contacted Tom Barrack, the founder of real estate investment company Colony Capital LLC, to seal the sale.
The ranch was off the market at the time.
Jackson, who died from an overdose of the anaesthetic Propofol in 2009 at age 50, bought the property in Los Olivos, about 120 miles (193 km) north of Los Angeles, in 1988 for US$19.5m. After financial troubles, in 2008 he handed over the title to Colony Capital LLC, which held a loan on the property.
View of the closed gate of Michael Jackson’s ranch, Neverland, after his death in 2009. Photo: AFP
Neverland, a name taken from the “Peter Pan” tale of a boy who refused to grew up, became Jackson’s favorite resort and famously featured a zoo, a railway and theme park rides.
It also was where he entertained children, one of whom brought molestation charges against the singer that resulted in a 2005 trial and Jackson’s exoneration on all charges.
Jackson vowed never to return to Neverland after the trial.
Burkle is the chief shareholder of Soho House, a private members club that attracts people in the entertainment and media industries and which has properties in New York, London, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
Neverland, a name taken from the “Peter Pan” tale of a boy who refused to grew up, featured a zoo, a railway and theme park rides. Photo: AFP