The Vatican said on Friday (Jan 28) that it had sold the luxury London building at the centre of a financial scandal involving charity donations.
Fewer donations and lower ticket sales during the coronavirus pandemic have strained the Vatican’s coffers, already hit by a series of ruinous investments a decade ago.
“The contract of sale has been signed, we have received 10 per cent of the deposit and it will be concluded in June 2022,” Economy Minister Juan Antonio Guerrero told the Vatican News site, the Vatican’s information portal.
The Holy See did not specify the buyer nor disclose a price for the building on Sloan Avenue in London’s upmarket Chelsea district, now at the heart of a major financial fraud trial that began in July, but a Vatican source said it was acquired by US private equity group Bain Capital.
Britain’s Financial Times first reported on the deal in November, saying the Vatican would lose £100 million (S$181.6 million) on its 350 million euro (S$528.7 million) investment, which began back in 2014.
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