MYSTERY OVER £140M FLAT IN ONE HYDE PARK

 
David Hellier
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There was at least one hot topic of conversation at yesterday lunch-time’s launch of One Hyde Park, the world’s most expensive apartments, and that was the identity of the buyers of the three Penthouse flats, the most expensive of which sold for £140m.

Around 350 guests, including Simon Cowell, Arcadia boss Philip Green and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, were invited to the launch party at the Knightsbridge development, where they were shown a selection of the 86 units in the complex.

The prices, averaging about £6,000 a square foot, are the highest ever paid for residential space, according to property experts. The development, which is the Candy brothers’ most ambitious project yet, is a joint venture between their Guernsey-based vehicle, CPC Group, and Waterknights, a company owned by the Qatari Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani.

Some say that the backers of the project liked the investment so much that they’ve put some of their money into the pot though this seems to be wide of the mark, at least as far as the top £140m penthouse is concerned. “The buyer of that is definitely not anybody associated with the project,” says David Forbes at Savills, one of the agents on the project. “There’s been a lot of speculation but we’re not allowed to comment on any of the sales,” he added.

The Candys’ own spokesman said the buyer of the most expensive penthouse came through an enquiry from the official web-site. There’s no confirmation of who he or she is and nor does the purchase appear yet on the Land Registry.

A CAUTIONARY TALE
Sean Dilley (pictured top right), the blind parliamentary lobby hack whose guide-dog Chip became a staple of rolling election coverage, found himself in a sticky situation earlier this week.

He was engaged in a conversation about disgraced Labour MP Eric Illsley, who recently pleaded guilty to three charges of false accounting over his expense claims.

Under archaic parliamentary law an MP cannot resign unless they are appointed to a “royal office of profit” – a decorative title held until another MP resigns. “I cannot believe that Eric Illsley, a convicted thief, is to be given a royal office of profit,” said Dilley. “And not only a royal office of profit, but the bailiff of the chiltern hundreds! He’d nick everything!” Of course, standing right behind Dilley was none other that Illsley himself, who sheepishly made himself scarce.

BAGEL MANIA
Anyone travelling through St Pancras this afternoon will be greeted by defeated US Presidential candidate Robert Burck performing country and western songs wearing only a pair of Y-fronts. The “Naked Cowboy”, a New York street entertainer, will be performing an “official bagel jingle” – Ode to the Bagel – to promote a new range at the New York Bakery. Look out!

ACKERMANN PAYS OUT
Josef Ackermann was in London yesterday to celebrate Deutsche Bank’s victory as the Bank of the Year at IFR’s 16th awards dinner at the Grosvenor House hotel.

Ackermann’s bank also won the now customary auction to head up the interactive tombstone with a £500,000 donation to Save the Children. The auction, compered by DJ Johnnie Vaughan and Melanie Sykes, raised a total of £1.4m. Bank of America Merrill Lynch chipped in with £125,000.