Indian Billionaire Ravi Ruia buys Russian-linked London mansion for Rs 1200 crore

Goncharenko, who used to be the deputy CEO of Gazprom Invest Yug, a branch of the Russian energy company, owned the house until about two years ago.
Ravi Ruia, an Indian billionaire, paid £113 million ($145 million) for a mansion in London that was owned by Russian real estate investor Andrey Goncharenko. This was one of the biggest private deals in London in recent years.

The family office of Ruia, who co-owns the financial firm Essar Group, bought the Hanover Lodge mansion at 150 Park Road overlooking Regent’s Park this month through the sale of the home’s holding company, which was based in Gibraltar, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Goncharenko, who used to be the deputy chief executive officer of Gazprom Invest Yug, a subsidiary of the Russian state-run energy company, owned the house up until two years ago. The person said that he got the property’s lease from Conservative Party peer Rajkumar Bagri for £120 million in 2012.

William Rego, a spokesman for the Ruia family office, said in an email that the property “is being built and became available at a price that makes it a good investment for the family office.”

The Financial Times was the first to tell people about the deal.

Secrecy

Most of London’s most expensive homes are bought by people with less debt, especially since high interest rates make it less appealing to borrow money. A study from the broker Knight Frank says that 17% of people around the world with a net worth of $30 million or more bought at least one home last year.

Even though the UK tried to make the ultra-prime property market in London more open by starting a register for foreign companies last year, the latest deal shows how secretive it still is. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also led the government to try to improve London’s image as a safe haven for oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin. However, wealthy Russians like Goncharenko are not the target of sanctions.

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Still, the success of stricter regulations has been mixed. For example, foreign companies have to say who their “beneficial owners” are or they could be prosecuted, but luxury homes are still changing hands without full public disclosure. Broker Hamptons International says that a record number of London homes were sold off-market in the last three months of 2017. This was especially common for the most expensive homes in the city.

The Ruia family office worked with the law group Withers on the deal. Bloomberg tried to talk to Goncharenko but couldn’t reach him.

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