Becker rescues €8.5m villa by paying off debt

Boris Becker has saved his Spanish villa by paying off a €378,000 debt to a gardening firm which won a court case against him.

The €8.5m estate, valued at €17m at the height of the boom, was due to be auctioned off yesterday.

But the three-times Wimbledon winner spared himself a painful loss and worldwide embarrassment by coming up with the money at the eleventh hour.

A court in Majorca confirmed yesterday the auction had been suspended after Becker’s lawyer presented it with a receipt showing payment.

Boris is expected to pay an outstanding €430,000 debt to a builder in the next few weeks. That debt forms part of a separate dispute with local building firm Melchor Mascaro.

Becker was ordered to pay the cash this summer after the construction firm took him to court for non- payment of work on his nine-bedroom estate, near the medieval town of Arta.

A lien had already been placed on the property, Son Coll, the previous summer after gardening firm Jardines de Alfabia successfully sued him. Becker’s lawyers argued in court that the estate agent selling the house for him, Matthias Kuhn, was liable to pay the gardening firm and construction company.

The real estate firm argued its only role was to sell the property — and was backed by a court in Palma.

Becker bought Son Coll for €700,000 in 1997 and spent millions on building work. The property boasts a 25m swimming pool, tennis court, a two-storey stone mansion and a separate guesthouse, all set in 75 acres dotted with olive, orange and lemon groves.

Becker, 44, was ordered to tear down part of the property in 2001 for breaching planning rules.

In 2004 he was fined for failing to carry out that order. He put the property on the market in 2007.

Becker’s lawyer Pedro Feliu was “abroad” yesterday and unavailable for comment.

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