London, Aug 11 : Steel tycoon Laxmi Mittal's record of buying the most expensive house has been broken by a mystery Russian billionaire, who splashed out 392 million pounds on one of the most expensive villas on the French Riviera along the Mediterranean Sea.
The sale of La Leopolda, a sumptuous villa on the Cote d'Azur, has fuelled worries over the invasion of Russian money.
The unnamed Russian bought the opulent villa from Lily Safra, the widow of Edmond Safra, a Lebanese banker who was killed by an arsonist's fire in Switzerland in 2003.
The villa, between Nice and Monaco, was acquired by King Leopold II of Belgium in 1902. "It's completely surreal and we are really uneasy. We don't dare any more to propose any price below 100 million euros for these clients. Anything below and they throw you out...and you should see how they do it," Times Online quoted high-end agent Jean Pierre as telling Le Parisien newspaper
According to Nice Matin newspaper, "At this price tag, we are beyond luxury and even reality."
The previous record of buying the most expensive house was held by Mittal, where he paid 57 million pounds for a property in Kensington Palace Gardens in 2004.