Russian heiress Rybolovleva buys Greek island owned by Onassis family

Ekaterina Rybolovleva. Click either photo to go to a slideshow of more islands owned by the super-rich.Ekaterina Rybolovleva. Click either photo to go to a slideshow of more islands owned by the super-rich.

Ekaterina Rybolovleva, the 24-year-old daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, has officially acquired Skorpios, the private Greek island owned by Athina Onassis Roussel, the sole heir of late shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

The sale price is unknown, though several Greek news outlets have reported a price tag in the $150 million range. In the early 2000s, the property was valued as high as $200 million, before the country's economy took a nosedive in the European financial crisis.

Whatever the final number, Rybolovleva can afford it. Or, more aptly, her father can. Dmitry Rybolovlev is worth $9.1 billion by Forbes' estimate, making him the 119th richest person in the world. (Read more about the Skorpios purchase on Forbes.com.)

Rybolovlev's daughter is said to be acquiring Skorpios and neighboring Sparti island for business as well as pleasure, with reported plans to create an island retreat for the world's rich and powerful, according to several Greek news outlets.

Spanning 74 acres in the Ionian Sea, Skorpios sits off the west coast of mainland Greece. Aristotle Onassis purchased the barren isle for less than $20,000 in 1963. The shipping scion piped in utilities, imported sand, planted forests, and built a family compound that includes three residences, a helicopter pad and a boat quay. He married former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy there in 1968, bringing world attention to Greece as a vacation destination.

After Onassis' 1975 death, the private island passed down through the family. Athina Onassis Roussel, his 28-year-old granddaughter and sole living heir, inherited it as a small child in 1988 after her mother died of a heart attack. The shipping scion, his daughter (Roussel's mother) and his son are all buried on the island. Roussel, who lives in Brazil, is said to have spent little time on Skorpios.

Read more about the sale, including speculation that the Skorpios purchase is actually a maneuver in the bitter divorce of Rybolovleva's parents, on Forbes.com.

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