Disgruntled property owners forced to sell disadvantageously may take comfort from the fact that it happens to rich folk, too. The fantastically rich Vestey Family, headed up by Lord 'Spam' Vestey - so called because the empire was built up around cheap meat products - has also felt the pinch. A cattle ranch in Venezuela owned by the trustees of Vestey family settlements (Lord Vestey is one of the beneficiaries) was sold for a paltry £26,428,000. This sum 'was lower than an independent valuer's appraisal of the market value' according to the 'directors' interests' section of the accounts for Western United Investment (the main Vestey holding company).
Who was lucky enough to pick up this bonanza of a bovine bargain? Western United Investment's accounts say the purchase was made by 'The principal subsidiary, Union International', meaning the same Vestey company, that in the same year had accrued a £102 million loss, and £350 million of debt for those poor unfortunate Vesteys.