Baturina Denies Buying $100M Estate

BloombergThe 3,700-square-meter Witanhurst House, the second-largest in London, has been filmed in several period dramas.
Yelena Baturina, the country's wealthiest woman and wife of Mayor Yury Luzhkov, on Wednesday denied a report in a British newspaper that she had bought a luxurious London residence for $100 million.

The Daily Mail Online reported that Baturina purchased Witanhurst -- the second-largest private estate in London, after Buckingham Palace -- for ?50 million. A spokeswoman at Inteko, Baturina's construction and real estate company, denied the purchase and attributed the story to rumors.

The 3,700-square-meter mansion, currently with "holes in the ceilings and crumbling cornices," was sold last year for ?32 million to property developer Marcus Cooper, the report said.

Alane Fairhall, a representative of the Marcus Cooper Group, declined to comment when contacted Wednesday, but she said an announcement would be made to the press "first thing tomorrow morning."

The mansion, located on 2.8 hectares in the village of Highgate, North London, has 90 rooms, including 25 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, the Daily Mail said. It also features a grand ballroom and two hectares of gardens.

The property's main house was built in the early 18th century and has been filmed in several period dramas. After a major reconstruction finished in 1920, the estate eventually fell into disrepair and had been on the market "for some time" before it was purchased July 18, 2007, the report said.

Forbes magazine's Russia edition listed Baturina in May as the 32nd-wealthiest person in the country, with an estimated fortune of $4.2 billion.

Inteko has often been awarded lucrative contracts for public works projects by the Moscow city administration.

Baturina denies that her company has benefited from her marriage to Luzhkov.