Duncan Bannatyne quits UK lockdown for luxurious £3m Portgual villa after furloughing 2,500 staff – The Sun

DUNCAN BANNATYNE has quit the UK's coronavirus lockdown and jetted to his £3 million Portugal villa after furloughing 2,500 staff.

The former Dragon's Den star, 71, flew by private jet to his getaway on the Algarve with his wife, Nigora, 40.

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The multi-millionaire businessman insisted he had "repatriated" home and would be spending 14 days in self-quarantine.

Portugal, which has a low Covid-19 death rate, will be lifted gradually in the next few days, but Britain's lockdown is due to last at least another month.

Bannatyne tweeted today: "BTW. I have repatriated myself & my family back to my home in Portugal after being locked down in London due to bad timing.

"Luckily I had friends that gave me a place to stay in London but it is good to be home."

PORTUGAL ESCAPE

The couple's villa is on the exclusive Val do Lobo resort on the Algarve.

Bannatyne also tweeted that the couple were "100% in quarantine".

He wrote: "When you land here they take full details of your quarantine address & you complete a declaration agreeing to self quarantine.

"To not do that is a serious crime".

Bannatyne and his wife got married in Portugal in 2017 and have rented out their villa previously when they are not there.

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He counts Portugal as his main home, but also owns a villa in Miami.

Bannatyne is believed to have been staying with telecoms billionaire John Caudwell while in London, which he left two days ago after spending a month in the capital.

He is worth a net £300million, but is concerned at the effect the Covid-19 pandemic is having on his business.

The gym millionire owns the The Bannatyne Group of health clubs and hotels and employs over 3,000 staff across the UK.

But he has closed his health clubs and spas and placed 2,500 of his 3,000 workers on furlough.

He has topped up their salaries above the 80 per cent government assistance for April.

GYM TYCOON'S FEARS

The Scot, who has taken a salary reduction along with the rest of the company directors, fears for the future of his empire if lockdown continues for a long time.

He says: “It’s a different world right now. I’ve cancelled dividends and put £15million worth of loans into the company since we went into lockdown.

“I don’t know if we will survive. But I’ll be the last one to get the money back.

“We can survive probably for six months. We have a burn rate of £4million a month just to stay closed so that’s probably the limit."

Earlier this month, he lashed out at Sir Richard Branson  after the Virgin boss asked for a £500million taxpayer bailout to save Virgin Atlantic from collapse.

Bannatyne wrote: "I have gone to the Bank NOT the UK tax payer. The bank.

"A viable business will get money from a Bank."

The magnate also hit out at Branson's offer to mortgage Necker Island, his home in the Caribbean, as collateral with the UK government for a "commercial loan" – appearing to question whether it was worth the required sum.




 

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