Sources: Forbes – By Yue Wang | All Things Michael
In May, Michael Jackson’s former California ranch Neverland went on the market for $100 million. Now Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is bringing the 2,700-acre property near Santa Barbara to China’s superrich.
Neverland, now called Sycamore Valley Ranch, will be available on Alibaba’s auction site Taobao Paimai starting from Oct 27. The estate has an initial bidding price of 500 million yuan($78.7 million）. The company will also help arrange property tours for potential buyers, according to the ranch’s introduction page.
Listing the property fits with the platform’s goal of connecting sellers with Chinese consumers who have an increasing appetite for unique items or assets, an Alibaba spokesperson said in a note. The one-day auction also preludes this year’s 11.11 shopping festival, and Alibaba has made selling global products the top theme.
This is not the first time Alibaba tries to sell luxurious residential properties to Chinese wealthiest. In July, it listed 1,500 high-end villas and apartments with a combined value of $258 million in southeastern Portugal on Paimai.
But Michael Jackson’s onetime ranch certainly dwarfs them all. The property, which retains the iconic floral clock, railroad tracks and train station from Jackson’s ownership, has about 22 structures on it. The 12,000-square feet main house has six bedrooms plus an attached staff quarters. There is also a swimming pool, a basketball court, a tennis court and a 50-seat movie theatre.
Over the years, Paimai has listed a number of surprising items for sale. In May, the auction site sold a Picasso linocut, titled “Visage” and made in 1963, for 1.2 million yuan($184,323) and Salvador Dali’s sculpture “Profile of Time” for 357,001 yuan($57,248).
Two months before that, China Cinda Asset Management Firm, the second of the country’s four biggest bad debt managers, put some non-performing loans up for sale on Taobao.
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