13 Dec 2023 | 2 mins

Virgin CEO Jayne Hrdlicka sells Melbourne mansion listed for $18m - Australian Financial Review

Virgin CEO Jayne Hrdlicka sells Melbourne mansion listed for $18m - Australian Financial Review

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka has sold her Hawthorn mansion in Melbourne less than two weeks out from Christmas, tying the bow on her property dealings in the Victorian capital for this year.

Although the exact sale price is undisclosed, it is understood to be close to the $17 million to $18 million guide attached to the five-bedroom mansion on Kooyongkoot Road, which has been owned by the American-born businesswoman since 2016.

The sale concludes a lengthy campaign for the 1886-built home, which first came to market about 18 months ago. The former chief executive of The a2 Milk Company paused the marketing campaign following the loss of her husband Jason Gaudin, who passed away after a battle with cancer in May this year.

The two-storey home reappeared on real estate websites early last month with Forbes Global Properties’ agent Robert Fletcher, who worked alongside Ms Hrdlicka’s vendor advocate Mal James, of James Buy Sell, to secure the pre-Christmas deal. Mr Fletcher declined to comment on the vendor or incoming buyer, citing a non-disclosure agreement.

Designed by architect Harry Browse Gibbs in 1886 as home to one of Melbourne’s prominent merchant families, the grand Victorian-era home sits on over 2000 square metres and features a pool, tennis court, billiard room, cellar and marble kitchen.

The two-storey mansion has been divided into an upstairs accommodation zone of five bedrooms, and downstairs is billed as “dedicated to the art of living”. This lower level features a formal sitting area, study and expansive formal dining room with a fireside retreat.

It is understood that Ms Hrdlicka, now based in Brisbane, had not been living in the surplus-to-needs house for some time, and is expected to purchase a Melbourne bolthole for her commitments as Tennis Australia chairman where she was recently re-elected until 2025 and remains a staple of the Australian Open coverage.

Ms Hrdlicka’s 2016 purchase timed with her appointment to the board of Tennis Australia, where she was elected the organisation’s first female chairman in 2017.

The Hawthorn sale concludes a busy year for the Virgin Australia boss who recently spent “a bit of time” with British billionaire and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson during his two-week trip to Australia to launch Virgin Voyages, while negotiating a pay deal with cabin crew in a bid to avoid industrial action heading into the holiday season.

Forbes

The Hawthorn property had a price guide of between $17 million and $18 million.

Like her airline – which has recorded its first annual profit in more than a decade – Ms Hrdlicka is expected to bank a tidy windfall from the sale, given she paid Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation chairwoman Patricia Cross $13 million for the mansion in 2016.

The sale is likely to be the last trophy deal of the year in well-heeled Hawthorn, which this year had a suburb high set by the $41 million sale of nearby Avon Court to Anna Egorova and her husband and crypto entrepreneur, Curve Finance CEO Michael Egarov in March.

Ms Hrdlicka is now based in Queensland where she paid $5.2 million for a contemporary Teneriffe property in 2021, about a 15-minute drive from Virgin’s HQ in Brisbane’s South Bank. The purchase came a year after she was appointed boss of Australia’s second-biggest air carrier following its 2020 collapse and subsequent takeover by private equity outfit Bain Capital.