Billionaire Sir James Dyson to sell Singapore penthouse for £7m loss, just one year after buying it

Ben Chapman
·2-min read
Sir James cancelled plans to manufacture a new electric car in Singapore last year (Wallich Residence)
Sir James cancelled plans to manufacture a new electric car in Singapore last year (Wallich Residence)

Sir James Dyson has agreed to sell his Singapore penthouse for a multi-million-pound loss, just a year after buying it.

The billionaire inventor has accepted an offer of $62m Singapore dollars (£35.3m) on the 21,000 square-foot apartment from Indonesian-born technology tycoon Leo Koguan, Singapore’s Business Times reported.

Sir James bought the property – marketed as the largest “non-landed residence” in Singapore – last year for S$73.8m. At current exchange rates, he has lost around £7m on the apartment.

The amount is small when compared to the £500m he ploughed into a now-abandoned electric car project. The zero-emissions SUV was to be built in Singapore but Dyson scrapped it last year after realising it would not be economical to manufacture.

The entrepreneur and designer bought the luxury residence after announcing plans to move his business’ headquarters from the UK to the affluent Asian city state. Sir James, a prominent supporter of Brexit, attracted criticism over the move.

His company said it made commercial sense because, although Dyson products are designed in the UK, they are made, and increasingly purchased, in Asia.

The property, which includes a pool, hot tub, and private garden with city views, was once rated Singapore’s most expensive penthouse. It features marble floors, chandeliers and a grand piano, and covers the top three floors of the 64-storey Guoco tower.

The new owner, Mr Koguan is founder of US-based IT company SHI International and has a fortune estimated at $1.4bn.

Sir James, who topped the Sunday Times Rich List for the first time this year, still has a $S26m mansion close by which backs onto Singapore’s Botanic Gardens – a Unesco World Heritage site.

Dyson has been building its presence in Singapore as it Asian hub. Around half of the companies sales are made in the continent.

Sir James became the nation’s richest man in May this year despite losing £500m of his own money in the discontinued electric car project.

While many of Britain’s wealthiest have seen their fortunes fall due to the economic struggles caused by the coronavirus, Sir James added £3.6bn to his net worth in the past year, according to The Sunday Times.

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