MUMBAI: A Mumbai-based diamond merchant has bought Cadbury House, a popular South Mumbai landmark for around Rs 350 crore, said three persons familiar with the development.
Realty developers like Lodha Group, Oberoi RealtyBSE 2.47 %, Peninsula LandBSE 3.14 % were among the players that had shown interest in acquiring the property for redeveloping it. But the new owner of Cadbury house, Dilipkumar Lakhi, the diamond merchant is believed to be acquiring the property for personal use. The deal was signed on Tuesday evening.
Cadbury House — named after its original owner, Cadbury, the confectionary company that Mondelez's parent Kraft bought in 2010 — is spread over a 1.1 acre plot on Pedder Road, just opposite the Malalaxmi Temple. The land parcel that so far housed Cadbury's headquarters will have total development potential of about 100,000 sq ft under new rules. Acquired by Cadbury in 1981 and refurbished in 2001, the white, artdeco building comprises two structures: a two-storied office and an eight-storied residential block that is home to several senior employees.
Mondelez and transaction advisor Cushman & Wakefield declined to comment while stating that the sale process in on. An Email query sent to Dilipkumar Lakhi's office remained unanswered until going to press.
The deal is likely to take around three months to conclude. Late 2012, the company leased additional office space in Lower Parel. Last year, Lodha Group acquired the US Consulate's Washington House, a threestoried residential building at South Mumbai's Altamount Road for Kailash Babar375 crore. Currently property rates in this plush locality of Mumbai range betweenRs 60,000 and Rs 70,000 a sq ft.