Duncan Bannatyne OBE is arguably best known for his role as a business angel on the hit BBC series Dragon’s Den. The Scottish entrepreneur recently shifted some of his focus to the Algarve, and after investing in real estate, is already making the region a home away from home.
Speaking to The Portugal News at the inauguration of the new offices of Ideal Homes Portugal in Vilamoura late last week, Duncan Bannatyne explained some of the reasoning behind his move to Portugal and reveals the thinking that ultimately led to his decision to not sit in for another season of Dragon’s Den.
Between cutting ribbons outside Ideal Homes’ new premises and enjoying the late afternoon sunshine, canapés and beverages provided by Oscar’s pub, located across the road, to celebrate the arrival of their neighbours, Duncan Bannatyne provides some insight as to why he decided to invest in the Algarve.
“I was looking for somewhere else to buy after my divorce”, said Bannatyne, whose well-documented and acrimonious divorce from Joanne McCue last year, after seven years of marriage, saw his wealth stripped by hundreds of millions of pounds.
Worth £430 million in 2011 according to The Sunday Times’ Rich list, his wealth dropped to £86 million the following year. But the Sunday Times earlier this year revealed Bannatyne had made a dramatic comeback and his wealth had grown to £175 million.
Having spent many years living in Cannes on the French Riviera, Bannatyne says he sat down one day “and Googled the Algarve.”
While he liked what he saw, he says it took him a while to make up his mind, eventually deciding that his place in the sun would be a sea-front villa at the Vale do Lobo resort in Almancil.
Fellow business angel on Dragon’s Den, Peter Jones, owns a property in neighbouring Quinta do Lago, “and he tried to convince me to buy there, but I preferred what I saw at Vale do Lobo”, explains Bannatyne.
He eventually purchased a home through Ideal Homes Portugal, with whom he has formed a working partnership after being invited by the so-called boutique agency’s CEO and founder, Chris White, to help promote and sell real estate in the Algarve.
“I purchased property in the Algarve as I was looking for a year-round retreat. I have also spoken to Chris and he knows if something good comes up, I would invest further”, explains Duncan Bannatyne, who recently featured in a series of television commercials for Ideal Homes Portugal further promoting the idea of investing in property in the Algarve.
As for the current series of Dragon’s Den being his last after a record 12 seasons on the popular BBC show, Duncan Bannatyne says: “It was taking up too much of my time. I have six children, two grandchildren and other areas of interest which need my attention.”
“It was a great experience the past ten years. I loved it”, he says, adding: “It was impossible for all the deals agreed to on the show to work out. I would say around one in three were successful. But I’ve made a decent amount from my investments.”