By Matthew Henry
MELBOURNE: Good Guys chairman Andrew Muir has reportedly emerged as the mystery buyer of disgraced businessman Steve Vizard’s $17.5 million Toorak mansion – the most expensive residential purchase in Melbourne’s history.
Vizard, who was recently convicted of insider trading and is currently serving a 10-year ban from company directorship, sold the 80-year old Orrong Road mansion earlier this week.
Melbourne media immediately suggested Victor Smorgon Group chief executive, Peter Edwards, as the likely buyer.
However, Muir – who has a reputation for snapping up historic Melbourne residences – was today named by the newspapers as the new frontrunner in the bid to unmask the buyer.
Vizard bought the property in 2002 for $5.25 million along with the neighbouring block for $1.2 million.
Muir is reported to have bought both blocks, but has yet to comment publicly on the rumours.
Muir reportedly sold the National Trust listed mansion Chandos for $3.7 million in 2003 – a five bedroom property in East Melbourne built in 1885.
Muir currently lives at Crathre House, a two-storey Italianate Victorian mansion built in 1874, according to reports.
At $17.5 million sale price, the purchase has set a new benchmark in Melbourne real estate.
The sale is also a boon for the Victorian government, which with stamp duty at 5.5 per cent will collect nearly one million dollars from the purchase.
The Altona mansion in Sydney’s Point Piper, previously owned by Rupert Murdoch’s nephew Matt Handbury of Murdoch Magazines fame, remains Australia’s most expensive property sale when it was sold in 2002 for $28 million.