Paulson Buys $49 Million Aspen Ranch

Jun 6 2012 | 9:38am ET

John Paulson is buying up in Apsen, Colo.

The billionaire hedge fund manager, who first bought a home in the mountain retreat two years ago, now owns its largest. Paulson paid $49 million for the 90-acre Hala Ranch. The estate, and another property, were formerly owned by Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S.

"Hala Ranch," which Paulson has renamed star ranch, "is one of the most beautiful properties in Aspen," Paulson & Co. said in a statement. And its 55,000-square-foot main house is the town's largest, and will likely to remain so: After Prince Bandar built the home in 1991, Pitkin County set a 15,000-square-foot limit on new home construction.

Hala was originally listed for $135 million in 2006, and was the most expense U.S. home listing ever at the time.

"Initially offered for sale for $135 million the purchase price represents a substantial discount to the asking price," Paulson & Co. said. "In addition, the purchase also includes the Bear Cabin located on a separate 38-acre parcel that was never previously offered for sale."

The two properties are adjacent to one another and are located on Red Mountain. And while the individual deals—$41 million for Hala and $8 million for Bear Cabin—do not break Pitkin County real-estate records, the combined transaction is the largest in Aspen's history.

Paulson did not buy the ranch through his hedge fund, but through an entity called Starwood Mountain Ranch LLC, named for the gated community in which the home sits. He also owns homes in New York and Southampton, N.Y., in addition to his Aspen properties.

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