Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

De Savary May Make Luton Hoo His Skibo of the South for [Pounds Sterling]16m

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

De Savary May Make Luton Hoo His Skibo of the South for [Pounds Sterling]16m

Article excerpt

Byline: MIRA BAR-HILLEL;LUKE LEITCH

THE MAGNIFICENT 18th century estate Luton Hoo, where the Queen and Prince Philip spent their wedding night and many anniversaries, could be transformed into a multimillion pound members' club.

Known around the world for its starring role in Four Weddings And A Funeral, the Bedfordshire stately home has caught the eye of property magnate Peter de Savary, who is negotiating to buy it for around pound sterling16million.

Luton Hoo has been on the market for nearly a year. If Mr de Savary's attempts to purchase it are successful, it will eventually become the latest in his portfolio of lavish members' clubs which include Skibo - the Scottish castle where Madonna married Guy Ritchie, and where Bill Clinton said he planned to write his memoirs.

At Skibo Mr de Savary's Carnegie Club guarantees exclusivity by charging around pound sterling3,000 for initial membership, with hundreds of pounds more for each day spent in residence.

Michael Douglas, Jack Nicholson and Sean Connery are members of the club, which father-of-five Mr de Savary - who once owned Land's End and John O'Groats - has said is for the "cash-rich and timepoor", adding: "But it doesn't matter how rich people are, they want good value for money."

His residential and sporting club business, Carnegie Clubs Group, has a new partner, John Broome, who founded Alton Towers and lost it when his Battersea Power Station venture collapsed in debt.

Together they are understood to be interested in converting the historic property to create the Hoo Club.

While sources within the property industry say 57-year-old Mr de Savary has set his acquisitive eye firmly on Luton Hoo, the Carnegie Club Group would only confirm that the company had "evaluated" it.

Spokeswoman Mary Ann Lutyens said: "We have not made a final decision. …

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