Chinese crypto billionaire Jihan Wu bought “Le Freeport,” art dealer Yves Bouvier’s maximum security freeport in Singapore, Bloomberg reports.
Wu bought Le Freeport for $28.4 million, marking a loss for Bouvier, who spent $70 million constructing the facility in 2010. In the end, Bouvier made around $3,544,842 from the sale, as three quarters of final price went to paying off creditors. The remaining funds were split between Bouvier, who held 70 percent of Le Freeport, and his fellow shareholders.
Bouvier has been haunted by a years-long legal battle with Russian oligarch and ARTnews Top 200 Collector Dmitry Rybolovlev, who alleges that Bouvier had scammed Rybolovlev out of $1 billion over the years after selling him 39 works at a highly inflated price. Included in the 39 works that Rybolovlev bought through Bouvier was Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci. Apart from the drain of the legal proceedings, the Art Newspaper found that a previous deal to sell Le Freeport for a price of $60 million in 2019 fell through, possibly because of the bad press surrounding Bouvier.
Wu is a major player in the world of crypto, having cofounded the world’s largest Bitcoin mining operation, Bitmain Technologies Ltd. Though Wu no longer controls Bitmain, he is the Chairman of Bitdeer, a cloud-mining service which is the sole shareholder of Straitdeer Pte., which owns Asia Freeport Holdings Pte. Both Asia Freeport and Le Freeport were reported to operate at a loss.