Money News

Lodha buys Canadian London embassy building for $530 mln

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada has sold a large embassy building in London's luxury Mayfair district to Indian developer Lodha Dwellers Pvt Ltd LODHA.UL for $530 million, the Canadian foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Canada wanted to dispose of the large six-storey building in Grosvenor Square because it plans to consolidate all diplomatic activities in another official Canadian property on Trafalgar Square. Canada was advised by Savills PLC SVS.L.

Foreign embassies are abandoning London’s premier addresses such as Mayfair and Kensington as the world of diplomacy changes in the face of security risks and new technology.

The sale also reflects the Conservative government’s desire to put the Canadian foreign service on a more business-oriented footing, in part by disposing of its more opulent buildings.

Canada disposed of its mansion-like residence in Dublin in 2008 and is trying to sell the ambassador’s house in Rome.

The government on Wednesday said it wanted the foreign service to focus on what Ottawa called “economic diplomacy” - boosting business for Canada, particularly in emerging markets such as China, South Africa and Brazil.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Marguerita Choy