Michael Jackson's Neverland snapped up by Ron Burkle for $22M

Michael Jackson’s Neverland gets a new owner as the star’s former associate billionaire Ron Burkle snaps up the infamous ranch for $22M – a whopping $80M lower than the initial asking price

  • Ron Burkle has bought the huge mansion and sprawling grounds located in Los Olivos, around 40 miles from Santa Barbara for $22 million, according to the Wall Street Journal 
  • The ranch first hit the market with a $100 million price tag in 2015 but its price was repeatedly slashed 
  • The 2,700-acre estate boasts a 12,000 square-foot Normandy-style mansion and 21 other structures 
  • There are multiple guesthouses, a 50-seat movie theater and a swimming pool with a cabana 
  • It was once home to the ‘King of Pop’ and named Neverland after J.M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’
  • It used to feature an amusement park, rail track and a zoo with exotic animals but those are now gone
  • It still features the iconic Neverland clock in the lawn along with the murky past 
  • The ranch fell into disrepair as Jackson was plagued by financial issues and numerous allegations that he sexually abused children there 
  • Burkle was a business advisor to the pop star at the time of his money problems 
  • A spokesman said Burkle bought the estate as he was looking for a location for a new Soho House club

Michael Jackson’s Neverland finally has a new owner after the star’s former associate billionaire Ron Burkle snapped up the infamous California ranch for $22 million – a whopping $80 million lower than the initial asking price. 

Burkle, co-founder of investment firm Yucaipa Companies and co-owner of Soho House, bagged the huge mansion and sprawling grounds located in Los Olivos, around 40 miles from Santa Barbara, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Once home to the ‘King of Pop’, the ranch was inspired by J.M. Barrie’s novel ‘Peter Pan’ and used to feature an amusement park, rail track and a zoo.  

But, the ranch languished as Jackson was plagued by financial issues and allegations that he sexually abused children there. 

Michael Jackson’s Neverland finally has a new owner after the star’s former friend billionaire Ron Burkle snapped up the infamous California ranch for $22 million – a whopping $80 million lower than the initial asking price. Pictured in the listing 

Burkle, co-founder of investment firm Yucaipa Companies, bagged the huge mansion and sprawling grounds located in Los Olivos, around 40 miles from Santa Barbara, according to the Wall Street Journal 

Once home to the ‘King of Pop’, the ranch was inspired by J.M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’ and featured an amusement park, rail track and a zoo. Pictured the pool

The ranch first hit the market with a $100 million price tag back in 2015 – six years after Jackson’s death from a drug overdose. 

But it’s troubled past has made it difficult to shift. It has been on and off the market for the last five years and its price has been repeatedly slashed. 

In 2017 it was reduced by a third to a $67 million asking price, before more than halving again to $31 million in 2019, the Journal reported. 

Burkle has found himself a bargain paying around a fifth of the original asking price and only a fraction more than the $19.5 million Jackson paid for the ranch back in 1987. 

The billionaire is now the proud new owner of the 2,700 acre estate complete with the 12,000 square-foot Normandy-style mansion.

An aerial image from 2001. The ranch languished as Jackson was plagued by financial issues and allegations that he sexually abused children there


Jackson (left) defaulted on a loan backed by the ranch when he fell into financial difficulties. Burkle (right), the co-owner of private club company Soho House, was a business advisor to the pop star at the time of his money problems

Outside the main house, the ranch boasts 21 structures including multiple guesthouses and a 50-seat movie theater, according to the listing.

Then there’s several amenities for sports fans with the swimming pool with a cabana, a basketball court, and a tennis court set among the grounds.

But several of the famous features from Jackson’s time there are long gone as his estate sought to distance it from the abuse allegations. 

The amusement park is gone as are the exotic animals including orangutans and an elephant named Gypsy, while the estate was renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch.

The ranch first hit the market with a $100 million price tag in 2015 – six years after Jackson’s death from a drug overdose

But it’s troubled past has made it difficult to shift. It has been on and off the market for the last five years and its price repeatedly slashed

The remainder of the rail track that the pop star added still runs through the estate and a castle type structure also remains

Outside the main house, the ranch boasts 21 structures including multiple guesthouses and a 50-seat movie theater. Pictured some animals remain on the land

Burkle has found himself a bargain paying around a fifth of the original asking price and only a fraction more than the $19.5 million Jackson paid for the ranch back in 1987

Burkle is the proud new owner of the 2,700-acre estate complete with the 12,000-square-foot Normandy-style mansion

But it still features the iconic huge Neverland clock in the lawn along with its murky past.

Jackson famously gave the property fantasy touches for his young fans to enjoy when they visited but he was accused by multiple alleged victims of abusing them, including at the ranch. 

In 1993, the singer was accused of molesting four children, including a 13-year-old boy.

Then, in 2003, Santa Barbara cops raided Neverland amid new child molestation allegations. 

Jackson was tried and acquitted of all charges in 2005. He died aged 50 of a drug overdose at a different home in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles in 2009.

Accusations have continued long after his death, with two alleged victims Wade Robson and James Safechuck filing lawsuits against Jackson’s estate in 2013.

But several of the famous features from Jackson’s time there are long gone as his estate sought to distance it from the abuse allegations. The gates to the property used to bear Jackson’s name

One of two signs that mark the grand entrance to the Neverland grounds pictured in July 2009 

One of the bathrooms inside the home in 2009. The estate was renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch after Jackson’s death

A bank of TV screens are pictured in a room in the train station at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in 2009

Jackson famously gave the property fantasy touches for his young fans to enjoy when they visited

The ranch (pictured in 2001) became the setting for numerous allegations of child sex abuse by the singer

In 2016, new details from a Santa Barbara police report used in the 2003 trial claimed that cops found a triple-locked closet in a guesthouse full of photos of naked boys and children’s toys in the ranch. 

Last year, Robson and Safechuck spoke out in a Netflix documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ alleging they were abused by the pop star as young boys, with several alleged incidents taking place at the ranch. 

After his acquittal in 2005, Jackson didn’t return to the ranch and he defaulted on a loan backed by it when he fell into financial difficulties. 

Investment trust Colony Capital then became co-owner of the ranch alongside Jackson’s estate in 2008, the Journal reported.

Jackson and his then-wife Lisa Marie Presley at Neverland Ranch in preparation of the World Summit of Children held there in 1995

Burkle, the co-owner of private club company Soho House, was a business advisor to the pop star at the time of his money problems. 

A spokesman for Burkle told the Journal his new purchase was ‘a land bank opportunity’ and that the billionaire investor already owns around 1,000 acres in Oak Glen. 

He said Burkle was looking for a location for a new Soho House club when he spotted Neverland and asked to buy it.  

He owns multiple properties, including a huge Palm Springs property built in the 1970s for Bob and Dolores Hope.   

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