Murdoch offers $44 million for Manhattan penthouse

MUMBAI: Media moghul and billionaire chairman of News Corp Rupert Murdoch has, according to agency reports, offered to buy a penthouse in New York's upscale Manhattan area for cool $44 million.

If the deal for the three-story penthouse, which belonged to the late Laurance S Rockefeller, goes through it would make it the highest price ever paid for a Manhattan apartment.

Murdoch and his family, however, must also be approved by the co-op board of the building, at 834 Fifth Avenue, The New York Times reported on Friday, citing an unnamed source informed of the negotiations. Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for Murdoch, declined comment to the Times.

The offer was reportedly accepted on Monday by representatives of Rockefeller's estate, which is responsible for the sale.

The co-op's rules require a buyer to pay all cash for an apartment in the building, which is at 64th Street, across from the entrance to the Central Park Zoo.

The penthouse is apparently one of the city's most opulent apartments on one of the most elegant stretches of Fifth Avenue. The apartment spans across the 14th, 15th and 16th floors of the building which was designed by the architect Rosario Candela and completed in 1931. It has 20 rooms making up about 8,000 square feet and about 4,000 square feet of terraces spread over the three floors. The monthly maintenance is $21,469.07.

Murdoch last march was ranked No. 43 on Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest people, with an estimated net worth of $7.8 billion. His company News Corp owns Fox Broadcasting, The New York Post Twentieth Century Fox and Asia's Star Group, among other properties.

The current record for a Manhattan apartment stands at $42.25 million, paid last year for a pair of adjoining condominium units at the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle.

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