Mittal buys third house on London Billionaire’s Row (Lead)

June 24th, 2008 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Princess Diana

London, June 24 (IANS) Just a month after buying Britain’s most expensive home, India-born billionaire Lakshmi Niwas Mittal has reportedly acquired a third house on London’s costliest street for 70 million pounds (Rs.6 billion or $135 million). The house in Kensington Palace Gardens is the former Philippine embassy and looks on to Kensington Palace, home of the late Princess Diana, the Evening Standard reported. It is the third acquisition on the street for Mittal, chairman of steel giant ArcelorMittal, with a fortune of 27 billion pounds ($53 billion).

He paid 117 million pounds (nearly Rs.10 billion) a month ago for a home for his son Aditya in Palace Green, an extension of Kensington Palace Gardens.

The industrialist himself lives in a large house in Kensington Palace Gardens that he bought for 57 million pounds (about Rs.5 billion) in 2004.

The paper quoted a spokesman for a top-end estate agent in London as saying that Mittal had already raised the value of his main property.

“The Mittals have carried out substantial improvements to their main home, which is probably the largest private house in central London after Buckingham Palace,” said Noel de Keyzer, a director at Savills.

“I would put its current value at close to 250 million pounds.”

The paper said the 70 million pound price tag for Mittal’s latest property was all the more remarkable since the former Philippines embassy was in need of modernisation.

“The 16,250 square feet home is also not the largest in the road but it looks on to Kensington Palace.”

Mittal also owns a 40 million pound property on the Bishops Avenue - a north London road that is also home to a mansion owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

According to the Standard, Mittal is believed to have offered 200 million pounds for the home on the street owned by Foxtons founder Jon Hunt. That property, which is being enlarged underground, was thought to have been the first choice of home for his son.

But Aditya, the 32-year-old finance director for ArcelorMittal, moved to Noam Gottesman’s mansion instead, when the estate agent refused the bid.

Mittal was named as the world’s fourth wealthiest person by Forbes Magazine in March, thanks to the 44-percent shares his family holds in Arcelor Mittal.

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