Michael Jackson's Neverland estate may be put up for sale

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2014, 3:50am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2014, 3:50am

Late pop singer Michael Jackson's Neverland estate is being considered for sale, a spokesman for the company controlling the property said.

Owen Blicksilver, spokesman for investment firm Colony Capital, said the company would decide soon whether to place Jackson's estate near the central Californian coast on the market.

Jackson, who died in June 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol, had handed over the title on his Neverland ranch in 2008 to Colony Capital, which held his US$23 million loan on the property.

At the time of the deal, Colony Capital said the firm had been planning to spruce up the ranch and sell it for an estimated US$70 million to US$80 million or more if Jackson was able to revitalise his career.

Jackson's estate, managed by John McClain and John Branca, said it was "saddened at the prospect of the sale of Neverland" and would continue to manage the singer's family home in Encino, a neighbourhood of Los Angeles.

"We hope and trust that any new owners of Neverland will respect the historical importance and special nature of this wonderful property. Michael's memory lives on in the hearts of his fans worldwide," it said.

Neverland, named by Jackson after the land from the fairytale of Peter Pan, whose main character refused to grow up, featured a private amusement park and zoo on its grounds.

Since his death, Jackson has been featured each year on Forbes' highest-earning dead celebrities list, with his estate making an estimated US$160 million from October 2012 to 2013, the magazine said.