To the surprise of many, Kerry Packer, uncrowned king of Australia was not among Mirror bidders. Yet, if the experience of Richard Northcott is any measure, Packer might well be the ideal buyer. The former boss of the Brown Bear DIY chain, Northcott is now a film-maker in Los Angeles. In the early '80s, when he sold his chain for £17m, he retired to Sussex. The neighbouring estate belonged to Packer, who pestered Northcott to sell him land for a polo field. Northcott, unwilling to sell, named what he thought an absurd figure - £1.5 million. Packer (worth well north of £500 million) replied "done". The Mirror might have appreciated such lavish attention.
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