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Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch sold to billionaire

Associated Press

Los Angeles – Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in California has found a new owner in billionaire businessman Ron Burkle.

Burkle views the 2,700-acre property in Los Olivos, near Santa Barbara, as a land banking opportunity, his spokesman said Thursday in an email.

FILE - This Dec. 17, 2004, file photo shows the rear entrance to pop star Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch home in Santa Ynez, Calif.

The Wall Street Journal reports the property was sold for $22 million to Burkle, an associate of the late pop star and co-founder of the investment firm Yucaipa Companies.

The asking price of the property was $100 million in 2016 then dropped to $67 million a year later.

In addition to a 12,500 square-foot main residence and a 3,700 square-foot pool house, the property boasts a separate building with a 50-seat movie theater and a dance studio.

Other features on the ranch are a “Disney-style” train station, a fire house and barn.

Burkle’s spokesman said the billionaire had been eyeing Zaca Lake – which adjoins the property – for a new Soho House, a members-only club with locations in Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Toronto. Burkle ultimately decided the location was too remote and expensive for a club.

Burkle is the controlling shareholder of Soho House.

After Burkle saw the property from the air, he put in an offer to purchase.