Toomas Hõbemägi reports in the Baltic Business News that casino operator Armin Karu, rumoured to be perhaps the wealthiest man in Estonia, is behind the purchase of former President Lennart Meri’s Paslepa summer residence. Here is an excerpt:
“Äripäev writes that HansaAssets, a company owned by Karu paid EEK 15.3 million for the summer residence in Western Estonia that has not been used in recent years and was put on sale by the presidential’ chancellery.
The seller, State Real Estate Company, announced on Friday that it has signed a purchase and sale contract with HansaAssets.
Karu’s company was the only one that bid for the building.
Karu himself told Äripäev that he finds the summer residence interesting in several levels. “It has a definite culture historic background, but I do not have a clear plan for the complex yet,” said Karu.
After Toomas Hendrik Ilves became President of Estonia, he has been entertaining guests [on] his own farm and has little use for the Paslepa residence.”
Note: Karu got the property at a bargain price. The businessman is known to be tight with a kroon - apparently paying the architect of his Tallinn residence late, mollifying him later with a bonus in casino chips, not hard currency. 15.3 million EKK equals @ CAD $1.5 million. Anyone who has seen the property and/or video of the interior would agree that in North America or for that matter anywhere else in Europe the price paid for this private seafront property would have been considerably higher. That seems to be the way of Estonian politics and bisness
Armin Karu purchases Paslepa presidential residence (3)