MUMBAI: Mumbai-based realty major Lodha Group has bought the Canadian high commission's building in central London for over Rs 3,120 crore (£306 million) signalling the group's ambitious overseas plans.
The 0.67-acre property, a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace and known as McDonald House, will be converted into super-luxury residences for the ultra-rich, people close to the situation said.
Lodha has already paid the initial amount to the government of Canada and the rest of the money is expected to be paid in two or three tranches. The property is believed to have a total saleable area of 1.6 lakh square feet.
A Lodha spokesperson declined comment for the story.
The Lodha Group, till now known for its World One project, the proposed tallest residential tower in India in central Mumbai's Lower Parel, hopes to receive about £750 million from the sale of these flats.
The developer has time till March end to pay the entire consideration, but the group is believed to be keen on paying the full amount by end-January. A person close to the transaction said Lodha will use its own funds and is not planning to raise any debt to finance the deal.
The Lodha Group is setting up a separate arm to undertake and execute the proposed super-luxury project and pursue its other future plans in the UK. "We have to set up an entire business in the UK. We have been looking at an opportunity for almost a year now," the person quoted above said.
Master Stroke by Lodha
The developer has hired Tyler Goodwin, the former managing director of JPMorgan, as the new chief executive officer of its UK business. Tyler is expected to join the company in January, the person said. "Lodha's entry into a mature and high-value property market like London will push its brand visibility to a new level.
With this project, the group will be able to connect with global investors. We can't even imagine the solid access this one project will provide to the group hereon," said Sanjay Dutt, executive MD (South Asia), Cushman & Wakefield.