A British billionaire who claimed to be one of the UK’s richest people has reportedly gone bankrupt with debts totalling £725million – just six months after boasting of his wealth at the £10million mansion he shares with his fiancée.
Entrepreneur Bob Bull, who recently ranked 88th in the Sunday Times Rich List, had his wealth estimated at close to £2billion when he showed a journalist round his home, complete with a bowling alley and a £4million collection of 12 supercars.
The 46-year-old made his fortune by transforming static caravan parks into bungalow villages.
But lawyers in a bankruptcy petition against Mr Bull said his ‘claims to be very wealthy were wrong’, Bloomberg reports.
The huge debt follows the collapse of his company RoyaleLife, and is made up of 22 loan agreements for which the businessman made personal guarantees to a number of lenders. The company had been valued at £4billion.
He was declared bankrupt by a court on December 1, the paper reports.
Tycoon Robert Bull (pictured), 46, who is Chief Executive Officer at Royale, built up his fortune by transforming static caravan parks into bungalow villages
Twice-married father-of-two Mr Bull (pictured with new fiancée Ms Nilsen) told how he hauled himself out of the depths of despair
Mr Bull, who has been twice married and now lives with his Norwegian fiancée Sara Nilsen, 30, near Southampton, hopes to enter an arrangement to pay off his debts at just 0.25 percent, court papers show.
‘It is not a great return to the creditors, but it is a return,’ Ben Channer, a lawyer acting on behalf of Bull said.
According to Companies House, Mr Bull currently holds roles at 34 separate companies that are in administration.
It is not the first time the businessman has faced bankruptcy – in 2016, he fought his way back after owing £3.5million to creditors and spiralling into ‘a nasty depression’ which left him unable to work for three months.
It was reported in September that Mr Bull was engaged in a legal battle over more than £32million of unpaid debts, after he was sued by holiday park boss Tony Barney.
Mr Barney, 59, claimed Mr Bull owes two of his caravan companies – Nottingham based Baslow Parks and Baslow Holdings Developments – £32,290,532.
Earlier this year Mr Bull, 46, (pictured with fiancée Ms Nilsen in an Instagram post) came in at number 88 on the UK Rich List with his net worth estimated at nearly £2billion
He met Ms Nilsen (pictured) in a bar in Mayfair in 2019 and the couple now share their luxury home which has a pool, gym and sauna along with its own three-lane ten pin bowling alley
Mr Bull and Ms Nilsen also share a £1million house together in Ms Nilsen’s home town in Norway
Court documents show a number of insolvency claims have been filed against companies run by Mr Bull in recent months
Mr Bull said he turned his fortunes around after spotting a gaping hole in the housing market which led to him building bungalow villages for people who wanted to sell their homes and downsize. His company, which employed 2,000 workers, was said to be worth £4billion.
His business saw him buy people’s old homes at market value and sold them a factory-prefabricated bungalow in a new community, each with a drive, a garden and a shed.
He now owns a £4million collection of 12 supercars and lives in a £10million mansion in Southampton with Norwegian fiancée Sara Nilsen, 30.
Mr Bull and Ms Nilsen also share a £1million house together in her home town in Norway.
The pair met at a bar in Mayfair in 2019 after Mr Bull had been to see bankers.
Despite both being in a relationship at the time, the couple eventually came together after he rang Ms Nilsen in her hometown of Kristiansund.
But court documents show a number of insolvency claims have been filed against companies run by Mr Bull in recent months.
One of his companies, Time GB Group, is appointing administrators with a court hearing due for September 29.
And the new legal claim launched by fellow entrepreneur Mr Barney, who owns a string of residential and lodge parks ranging from Yorkshire to Norfolk, is said to be worth £125million.
Mr Bull had previously agreed a ‘deed of settlement and release’ concerning two companies in March, with the first payment due on April 14 of £1.4million.
But he failed to make the payment, High Court papers show, meaning the whole £32million sum became due.
Mr Bull disputed the claim and says Mr Barney breached their agreement by failing to keep its terms confidential.
He argued Mr Barney had made ‘a clear and unequivocal promise’ that the deed to pay money would not be enforced while Time GB Group was going into administration.
Mr Bull is used to wealth after being born into a successful family
Mr Bull rebuilt his family’s empire and established Britain’s second-biggest caravan group
Mr Bull is used to wealth after being born into a successful family after his grandfather started a caravan park business.
‘My three sisters and I were brought up with everything we could want,’ he said.
His father carried on the success of the family business until he ‘lost everything in the 1990s banking crisis’.
Mr Bull rebuilt the empire and established Britain’s second-biggest caravan group.
However, the company ran into trouble in 2016 and he was declared bankrupt.
Mr Bull told how things got so bad he could not afford the price of a takeaway for his children seven years ago.
In an interview earlier this year he said: ‘I put my card in and it didn’t work. The next card didn’t work either.
‘I was pushing my youngest, Jack, in the pram. I put my food back and I said to my son Bobby, “Have you got any money?”.
‘I had to borrow the price of a KFC from my 12-year-old so my kids could have something to eat.
‘I still get emotional about it now. The woman in the bank cut my cards up in front of me. I felt like a piece of s**t. That was my lowest day, and I hated it.’