THE mystery seller of the most expensive house to change hands in Hong Kong has been revealed as the Shell Company. Last week, the company's property on The Peak sold for a record $276.61 million. The buyer is a private developer which plans to knock down the white brick structure and its separate servants' quarters to make way for five luxury townhouses. The two-storey building at 51, Plantation Road is known as the Belvedere and occupies 10,000 of the site's 40,000 square feet. It sits beside an expanse of lawn interrupted by a kidney-shaped swimming pool. The pool is now empty and littered with leaves: the Belvedere has been unoccupied since Tim Brennand, Shell's chairman and chief executive for Hong Kong and China, moved out about six months ago. Two gardeners and two amahs lived in the servants' quarters and tended the property when Mr Brennand lived there with his wife. First Pacific Davies director Raymond Ho said the development company had instructed him not to reveal its identity. He said his office was overwhelmed by offers when the house was put up for sale by tender. Analysts said the finished townhouses would probably fetch about $75 million each.