Former casino boss Rob Rankin has sold the Woollahra trophy home Woodlands, pocketing $35 million from Bain & Company senior partner Chris Harrop and his wife Kathryn.
For more than the past two years, while the former Crown Resorts chairman has lived in a relative self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom, the 1880s colonial-style mansion has been quietly offered to buyers for more than $30 million.
Rankin controversially declined to return to Australia in 2020 to give evidence at the Bergin inquiry into Crown’s suitability to hold a gaming licence.
The off-market campaign to sell the landmark property, prompted by Rankin’s split with his former wife Paula Boff, was a stop-start affair given the high-profile renters who have at times paid upwards of $12,000 a week for the property.
Elton John rented it during his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in early 2020, Chris Hemsworth and his wife Elsa Pataky took up residence early last year during filming for Thor: Love and Thunder, and rich-lister garbo Ian Malouf was a longer-term tenant.
The Rankins never lived in the 1500 square metre property, having maintained it as a high-end rental since they bought it in 2003 for $6.825 million from John and Julie Singleton.
Following an architect Luigi Rosselli redesign in 2008 it was rented by Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-lee Furness, and Rupert Murdoch’s eldest daughter Prue MacLeod and her husband Alasdair rented it for a couple of years until 2014, when they bought the nearby home once owned by John Laws.
Reports that it had sold in March for $30 million were dismissed at the time by The Agency’s Ben Collier, and its sale since makes the Harrops just the latest in an impressive roll call of corporate heavyweights to hold the title.