Earlier this month, AP reported a development that every real estate professional in Santa Barbara County fully anticipated: Neverland no longer belongs to Michael Jackson. The new owner of the 2,500-acre trophy property? That was even less of a surprise: Sycamore Valley Ranch Co., an affiliate of Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital.
Jackson’s financial difficulties are nothing new. Neither is Barrack’s deft maneuvering. The California billionaire made his fortune buying up bad real estate loans from troubled S&Ls. In May, the billionaire implemented the same m.o. when he bailed out Jackson after the entertainer defaulted on a $24.5 million note on Neverland.
Prior to purchasing Neverland in 1988, the property was known as the Sycamore Valley Ranch. According to the AP report, the property’s new owner is a joint venture between Jackson and an affiliate of Colony Capital LLC, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction who was not authorized to speak on the record and requested anonymity.