Swedish billionaire buys English village

england-rural-sussexStefan Persson, the billionaire owner of Sweden’s clothing retail chain H&M, is set to sign the papers to purchase an entire village in the southern English countryside. The cost of becoming Lord of a village apparently runs about SEK 300 million these days.

Luckily, Persson is worth around SEK 140 billion, according to The Local, so the indulgence shouldn’t set him back too much. Persson won the bid to buy the Linkenholt Estate near Andover in Hampshire, a property encompassing hundreds of hectares.

The estate over which Persson will become Lord consists of massive farmland, a 170-hectare forest, a cricket ground, sprawling manor and 21 smaller dwellings where villagers live. He will actually assume a traditional lord of the manor role since the 21 smaller homes are occupied by locals, many of whom have lived there since birth. They pay a rent of around SEK 6,000 per month to the lord of the manor.

Persson is said to have overcome a bidding challenge from fellow Swede Claes Bourghardt to buy the estate, which is his second property in England after a 3,500-hectare estate in Wiltshire. Persson is no average millionaire, however. He ranked 18th on the 2009 Forbes rich list thanks to the retail success of his family’s clothing company, H&M.

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