A Highland sporting estate has been bought by a Russian vodka billionaire in one of the most expensive deals in the Scottish property market.
The Tulchan Estate in Moray which boasts some of the best salmon fishing in Europe, has been purchased by Yuri Schefler, who according to Forbes magazine is worth £1.34 billion.
Mr Schefler, a regular guest at the famous estate who is said to divide his time between the UK and Switzerland, owns SPI Group, which produces and sells alcohol under 380 brands in 160 countries, including Stolichnaya vodka.
His new 21,000-acred property was described by the selling agents Savills as the “ultimate utopia for the passionate sportsman” when it was put on the market last year.
It has eight miles of double bank salmon fishing on the River Spey as well as exceptional stalking and shooting, including two grouse moors. The asking price is thought to be the highest seen on the open market for a “whole” Scottish sporting estate.
The estate’s famous fishing guests have included King Edward VII, King George V, King George VI and former US President Theodore Roosevelt.
Savills handled the sale of the prestigious Tulchan estate, which comprises over 21,000 acres by Advie near Cromdale in Strathspey.
The average price of an estate is under £5million, although Kinpurnie estate on Tayside was sold in separate lots last year with a huge total ticket price of £29million.
A spokeswoman for Savills would not reveal the purchase price, but confirmed: “It is one of the most expensive properties ever to be sold on the open market in Scotland.”
A spokesman for Tulchan Sporting Estates confirmed that 100% of the shares have been transferred.
He said: “The company (which was established over 23 years ago) has been bought by a company for the principal benefit of Mr Yuri Schefler of Russia, who is well known to the estate having been a regular visitor in the past.
“It is understood that the new owner of TSEL will continue to operate the estate as a business along similar lines as the Litchfield family and plans to make additional investment and innovation in the business. “This was an important factor to the sellers, as the estate makes a valuable contribution to the local economy employing 20 full time and a further 20 seasonal staff.”