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Billionaire pays $7.4M for Midtown house

Posted On: 12-20-2014

By Darrell Hofheinz Daily News Real Estate Writer

Palm Beach has added another billionaire to its list of property owners.

C. Dean Metropoulos – the so-called turnaround king who in 2013 bought the bankrupt Hostess Brands of Twinkie fame — paid a recorded $7.4 million for a house at 219 Chilean Ave., a deed recorded Thursday shows.

Metropoulos owns no other property in his name in Palm Beach County, according to courthouse records.

He bought the five-bedroom house — with 6,427 square feet of living space, inside and out – from the MWB Family Trust of Toronto, according to the deed.

Public records link the address to Matthew William Barrett, whose initials match those of the trust. An Irish Canadian, he is the former group CEO and chairman of the Canadian banking giant Barclays and at one point served as CEO of Bank of Montreal and as executive officer of Joseph E. Seagram & Sons Inc., according a biographical sketch at Businessweek.com.

Brown Harris Stevens handled both sides of the sale. In March, agent Maureen R. Woodward had listed the house at its exact selling price. Agent Joyce C. McLeary represented the buyer.

Both agents said a confidentiality agreement prevented them or any of the parties involved from discussing specifics of the sale.

Euro Homes built the Mediterranean-house house on speculation in 2006, and the trust bought it the next year for a recorded $5.95 million. The owner subsequently carried out renovations, courthouse records show.

“It was a magnificent upgrade – sheer perfection,” Woodward said Friday.

Metropoulos — a self-made private-equity specialist with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion — “takes beaten-down brands and spruces them up,” according to a brief biography about him on Forbes.com.

Married and with a residence in Greenwich, Conn., he is the former owner of Pabst Brewing Co. He sold the beer manufacturer in September to a Russian buyer for a reported $750 million – three times more than he paid for it a few years earlier.

In 2013, he engineered the reintroduction of Twinkies and other pre-packaged baked goods made by Hostess. His Metropoulos & Co. bought the company after its owner, Apollo Global Management, skidded into bankruptcy. The brand’s slogan when it re-entered the market was “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever.

”Other brands he has turned around during his career include Chef Boyardee, Pam cooking spray, Bumble Bee tuna and Perrier- Jouët champagne, according to Forbes.

In September, the New York Post reported that Metropoulos had been a serious contender to buy the Buffalo Bills. The winning bidder was billionaire Terrence Pegula, who paid $1.4 billion for the team.

The house Metropoulos bought stands a couple of lots west of South County Road on land measuring about a quarter-acre.

Among its features are high ceilings, Jerusalem stone floors, an upscale kitchen, a generator and a master bedroom with two bathrooms, according to Woodward’s sales listing.

The deed lists the trustees of the MWB Family Trust as Tara O’Connell and George Swan, both of Oakville, Ontario. Swan, the co-trustee of the trust that sold the property, heads Forstar Group, an administrative management and consulting firm in Toronto.

The deed was dated Dec. 9, although it recorded this week.

 

Source: Darrell Hofheinz, December 20, 2014, Palm Beach Daily News

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