Palma.—The auction was due to take place yesterday on Becker's property in Arta on which an embargo had been placed by local judiciary. It has been lifted after Becker paid the overdue bill to a gardening company for work carried out at the German tennis star's luxury villa at Son Coll which he has had since 1997.

The net amount of the bill was just over 276'000 euros and the remainder consisterd of interests and costs, court sources said. The failure to pay the debt to the gardening company arose out of a dispute with a local estate agent who was responsible for the sale of the property. Becker claimed that the estate agent had agreed to pay the costs of the landscape gardening at the property whilst the agent searched for a buyer . Becker was asking 15 million euros for his Majorcan retreat.

The estate agent had said infront of a court on Majorca that he had agreed to arrange for the gardening work to be carried out but not to pay the company who undertook the landscaping. The court ruled in favour of the local estate agent. The villa in Arta, apart from the main building has a separate guest chalet, an orange orchard, a swimming pool, tennis court and an area for basketball. Boris Becker has to pay another debt related to this property, to a Majorcan building firm.

The ex- tennis player allegedly has to pay the company 430'000 euros for various reforms at the villa.