The story of how Richard Branson accidentally bought his private island is incredible

How's this for a first date?
  • Richard Branson became the owner of an island in quite a surprising way
  • He was essentially trying to impress a girl
  • After offering nearly $5 million less than the asking price, he got lucky

Published on Dec 21, 2023 at 7:06PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Dec 21, 2023 at 9:38PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones
How Richard Branson accidentally bought an island
Virgin Limited Edition - Kingkongphoto / Wikimedia Commons

Richard Branson pulled the ultimate move to get the girl.

While some might try to impress with flowers or a fancy dinner, Branson knew he had to do better.

His play ended in marriage and the ownership of an entire island.

READ MORE: This ultra-unique $218m Florida mega-mansion is on its own private island

We all know Richard Branson as one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.

He’s a man of many talents, most recently having conquered space travel.

But there was a period where he was still finding his financial feet.

In 1978, he was running Virgin Records with moderate success.

Branson chose the name ‘Virgin’ as an indication that he was new to business.

One day, a friend alerted him to the fact that one of the British Virgin Islands was for sale.

“What do you do when hear that there’s an island, with the same name as your company, up for sale?” he said.

“You call up the people selling it and enquire!”

This is the same region where the late and disgraced Jeffrey Epstein owns a private island.

It was perfect timing, as he had been brainstorming ways that he could impress a certain woman that he had his eye on.

He phoned the realtor to arrange a viewing of the island and asked if he could bring a plus one.

He bluffed his way through the phone call, leading the realtor to believe he had a lot more money than he did.

Soon he and his crush were on an all-expenses paid viewing trip to Necker Island.

They were put up in a private villa and treated to helicopter tours of the island.

Richard Branson immediately fell in love with the island, envisioning it as a luxury getaway for rockstars to rest and record albums for his label.

The realtor offered it to him for the discounted price of $6 million.

Branson offered the most that he could: $100,000.

“The realtor was less than impressed, and left us high and dry to find our own way back home,” he said.

Amazingly, a year later the island still hadn’t sold and the owners were getting desperate.

This time Branson could up his bid, to a still pretty measly $180,000.

It was sold with the agreement that he would build a resort on the island within four years.

Today, Necker Island can accommodate 40 guests in multiple luxurious villas.

Guests get access to two beaches, private pools, a personal chef, and 100 staff members.

So he got the land, but did he get the girl?

A few years after buying Necker Island he hosted the ultimate party there: their wedding.

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