LONDON-Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been revealed as the buyer of a French chateau that became the world's most expensive property when it sold for $300million in 2015.

The owner of the palace - which features a wine cellar, home theatre and moat filled with koi carp - was kept hidden at the time behind a series of shell companies based in France and Luxembourg.

But an investigation by the New York Times has found that the companies are all owned by Eight Investment Company, a Saudi firm managed by the head of the prince's personal foundation.

Advisers to the Saudi royal family confirmed to the Times that the palace ultimately belongs to Salman.

The prince was also behind the recent purchase of Leonardo Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi which became the most expensive artwork ever sold when it swapped hands for $450million earlier this month, the Times believes.

At the time Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, another lesser-known Saudi prince , was named as the buyer of the painting.

But those close to the sale and American intelligence services say he was actually acting on behalf of Salman.

Eight Investment Company was also used to buy the prince's spectacular $400million superyacht Pegasus VIII from a Russian vodka tycoon in 2015.

The company recently purchased another 620-acre French property which is now being refurbished and fitted with a hunting lodge. It is not clear if this property belongs to Salman, since the firm manages wealth for several prominent Saudi royals.