DELHI: The Ruia family, which owns the oil, steel and shipping conglomerate Essar Group, is selling a bungalow in the leafy Jor Bagh area of central Delhi and is expecting Rs 170 crore for the house that it bought for under Rs 50 lakh about 20 years ago.
The Ruias have hired an international property consultant to find buyers, two persons with direct knowledge of the development said. A spokesman for the Essar Group declined comment.
The 1,250 sq yard bungalow, with 12,000 sq ft of built-up space and covered by a canopy of Jamun trees, has the Nanda family of Escorts and former union ministers Natwar Singh and Maneka Gandhi as neighbours.
A few years ago, Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan was rumoured to have bought the house next to the Ruias. And former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati bought another a furlong down the road, which is now her party's office.
Two years ago, the Ruias moved into a bigger 2.26-acre Lutyens bungalow on Tees January Marg that boasts of a signature colonial-era lawn and a swimming pool.
Since then, the Jor Bagh bungalow, which also falls in the Lutyens' Bungalow Zone and faces the ministry of civil aviation and the picturesque Safdarjung's Tomb across the road, has been used as a company guesthouse and temporary office.
One of the persons who confirmed the development said the bungalow is a personal investment by the Ruias, who have been toying with the idea of selling it for a while now. Their decision comes at a time the Essar Group companies are combating rising debt.
According to a recent report by Credit Suisse, at the end of fiscal year 2012-13, the group had a debt of Rs 98,412 crore, up from Rs 85,224 crore a year ago. Lutyens' Delhi is known for its high-value deals and has become a favourite with firstgeneration entrepreneurs who want the pricey homes as trophy assets.