(More) Rumor and Speculation: Howard Marks

A couple of weeks ago—on Christmas Eve, to be exact—Your Mama whispered to the children that word on the real estate street in Los Angeles was that L.A.-based billionaire hedge fund fat cat Howard Marks and his social wife Nancy had inked an off-market deal to off-load their sprawling, bluff top Malibu estate for an ear piercing $75,000,000, give or take a few million.

Then, if y'all recall, a few days ago we relayed information tantalizingly tattled to Your Mama by several sources who speculated—based on what they were hearing slide down the gossip grapevine—that the buyers were a couple of young Russians with, as one put it, "suitcases full of cash."

Despite a report just yesterday by the property gossips at the Wall Street Journal that described the buyers as "A Russian billionaire couple," Your Mama conferred yesterday and today with two of our better connected informants from deep inside the Platinum Triangle real estate game—let's call them Ben d'Yerear and Lotta Scoop—who now tell us the Platinum Triangle real estate scuttlebutt has shifted away from the Russians. Now, according to Ben and Lotta, there are two decidedly non-Russian names being batted about as the possible (and still alleged) new owner of the Marks' Malibu spread.

We first heard from Lotta Scoop that we might want to look into the buyer being billionaire junk bond bigwig Michael Milken. Certainly Mister Milken has more money than God and the Devil combined and he's quietly snatched up (and built) a healthy handful of high-priced properties from Malibu to the Trousdale Estates in Bev Hills over the last few years, including the $37 million purchase of Nancy Daly's nearly 13,000 square foot pile on Carbon Beach. Plus, according the the Wall Street Journal report, real estate agent Fred Bernstein represented Mister and Mister Marks in the sale of the property. Mister Fred Bernstein, children, is Michael Milken's son-in-law and—the plot thickens—both Lotta and Ben told us they heard Mister Bernstein actually brokered both sides of the deal. Oh my.

The Fred Bernstein connection certainly points a squinty-eyed finger towards Mister Milken but Ben d'Yerear told us he's several times heard the buyer is a fella named James "Jim" Jannard. Mister Jannard, of course, is the founder of the Oakley sunglasses and lifestyle brand that he sold in 2007 for $2.7 billion. Today Mister Jannard possesses a fortune estimated by the folks at Forbes in September 2012 to be around $2.8 billion so he can certainly afford a $75 million high maintenance Malibu beach house on ten manicured acres.

Mister Jannard isn't on our list of hardcore L.A. based real estate ballers but he does own at least two other pricey properties in Los Angeles, both of them in the back in vogue and shockingly expensive Trousdale Estates neighborhood that runs up into the rugged canyons on the far eastern edge of Beverly Hills.

In October 2010 Mister Jannard dropped $5,200,000 on a 5,128 square foot single-story residence privately situated down a long, gated driveway at the tail end of a little lauded cul-de-sac and the previous December (2009) Mister Jannard picked up a very famous, crab-shaped mid-century modern masterpiece for which he paid $19,900,000 according to property records (and previous reports). The house is often attributed to Hal Leavitt but we hear from someone who knows about these things that the house was actually remodeled by Leavitt for the seller, entrepreneur William Hubner.

The house (above), supremely sited on 1.99 acres and curled tightly around a central circular motor court, was originally built in 1962. It measured 7,459 square feet and contained a total of six bedrooms and 9 bathrooms according to the L.A. County Tax Man. At the time of his purchase, a spokesperson for Mister Jannard told the WSJ that the house was not purchased for his own personal use but rather for guests of Mister Jannard's Red Digital Cinema, a company that makes digital movie cameras and is based in the Orange County community of Lake Forest, CA.

Did y'all catch the past tense up there? That's because, much to the chagrin of lovers of low-slung, crab-shaped mid-century modern masterpieces the world over, Mister Jannard has torn down the house down and is mid-way through the erection of an all knew residence that's more to his liking. Anyhoo...

Your Mama knows who we think bought the Marks' house but since we're not 100% sure so we'll just leave all the children to hash out all the possibilities. 1, 2, 3...Go!

aerial image (Trousdale Estates): Google