Money News

Vaccine billionaire buys former U.S. consulate in Mumbai for $113 million

Slideshow ( 2 images )

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Vaccine billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla has bought a former maharaja’s mansion in Mumbai from the U.S. government for around 7.5 billion rupees ($113 million), newspapers reported, making it the most expensive ever residential purchase in the country.

The seaside mansion was used as the U.S. consulate from 1957, and later renamed Lincoln House. It was put on the market four years ago, after the consulate was relocated to a purpose built compound in a newer business district.

Poonawalla, one of India’s richest men, told the Times of India newspaper that he secured the property after real estate groups were told there were limits on potential redevelopment plans for the heritage-listed house and seaside plot.

“We thought it was a good price given the location,” son Adar Poonawalla, who ran negotiations, told the Hindustan Times.

It was not immediately possible to reach the Poonawalla family. DTZ, the agency that sold the property, also declined to comment.

Last week, the family of billionaire industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla said it had bought Jatia House, another of south Mumbai’s rare bungalows, for 3.9 billion rupees.

Analysts said Poonawalla’s move is the most expensive home purchase to date in India. Mumbai is already home to the most expensive private home in the world, Antilia, the purpose-built 27-floor home of India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani.

Reporting by Clara Ferreira Marques; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore