Rupert Murdoch, the media magnate, has sold his ranch in Carmel Valley, California because his wife, Wendi, 'didn’t see it in her future portfolio'.
Rupert Murdoch may not yet have disposed of his remaining British newspapers, but the proprietor of the News of the World has quietly sold off another treasured corner of his empire.
Mandrake can disclose that the 80-year-old media magnate and his pugnacious wife, Wendi, 42, have received $17.8 million (£11.4 million) for their sprawling cattle ranch in Carmel Valley, California. “I understand that Wendi didn’t see it in her future portfolio,” claims one New York-based observer of the family.
The sale of the ranch, which Murdoch is understood to have bought with his second wife, Anna, a Scottish-born journalist, in the early Nineties, will sadden their three children. It is where Elisabeth, Lachlan and James spent their summer holidays.
“I come here because my family and I love it,” Murdoch said in 2006. “I feel completely relaxed here. It’s where we gather as a family. I use the ranch as a retreat to entertain my executive and senior team members. People appreciate that you entertain them in your home. You’ve still got to treat people right at the office, but they do appreciate coming here.”
Elisabeth, who sold her television production company, Shine Group, to her father’s company for an eyebrow-raising £415 million earlier this year, will be particularly nostalgic as California is where Murdoch bought her a television station so that she could cut her teeth in the broadcasting business.
In 2009, Rupert and Wendi, who have two children, put Rosehearty, their seaside home in The Great Gatsby-territory of New York, on the market for $12.8 million (£8.2 million).
The couple had been renting the 11-bedroom property, which has its own stretch of beach with a dock, to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, the Hollywood stars, for more than $100,000 a month.
THE TELEGRAPH, by Tim Walker.
Edited by Richard Eden