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Poor billionaires gasp for survival

business Updated: Mar 13, 2009 21:22 IST
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With the global economic downturn making holes in pockets of billionaires, the richie-rich of the world are out to dispose of all their costly belongings, including castles, yachts, private jets and even soccer team.

According to a report from business magazine Forbes, many "billionaire toys" are up for sale and the available multi-million-dollar items include a castle, a luxury hotel, private jets, a soccer team and large-size yachts.

"A year ago Sergei Polonsky had everything. At 35, he debuted on our World's Billionaires list as one of the youngest members... One Russian market collapse later, Polonsky is scrambling to raise funds," Forbes said.

The report quoted Polonsky as blogging this January that he has "decided to sell my hotel Sungate Port Royal, yachts and the house on the Cte d'Azur and put all the proceeds into further construction of our projects".

Australian James Packer inherited a media fortune from his late father and moved into casinos, "but that may not have been a great bet. His chip pile is down $3.2 billion in the past 12 months, and he's now apparently scaling back".

"The new father is reportedly selling a London triplex. Also on the market is his top-of-the-line Mangusta 165 yacht called the Z-Ellerston. Packer is looking for a new owner only a year after taking control of the 164-footer. The asking price is $34 million," it noted.

However, it has become a "buyer's market", making it difficult for these sellers.

Edra Blixseth, who co-founded now-bankrupt Yellowstone Club, along with her ex-husband Tim Blixseth, is hoping to raise cash with the sale of her castle, the Chateau de Farcheville, outside Paris. Husband Tim Blixseth is selling his Caribbean island for $75 million.