Sydney waterfront sold for record $79m

SYDNEY • Tech billionaire Scott Farquhar has bought a Sydney waterfront mansion for A$75 million (S$78.8 million) – a record for Australia, a report said yesterday.

The co-founder of Australian software giant Atlassian, which floated in the United States in late 2015, snapped up the iconic “Elaine” from Mr John Brehmer Fairfax, whose family formerly owned the Sydney Morning Herald.

The estate stretches down to a harbour beach in Sydney’s prestigious Point Piper, and had been in the Fairfax family since 1891, when it was bought for £2,100.

It features horse stables, a tennis court and a ballroom. Mr Fairfax reportedly resisted larger offers from developers to sub-divide the land.

“We’re thrilled with the purchase and honoured to take over the Elaine estate in its entirety from the Fairfax family,” Mr Farquhar, 37, told Fairfax Media. “It would have been a great loss to see this rare property sold to developers and carved up.

“When we heard of the plans, we just couldn’t let this beautiful piece of Australian history be turned into a development site,” he added.

The price tag set a record for residential property in Australia, the Australian Financial Review said. It topped the A$70 million paid in 2015 when mogul James Packer, who runs worldwide gambling empire Crown, sold his Sydney home to Australian-Chinese billionaire businessman Chau Chak Wing