"an attractive investment for the family office.”
Indian billionaire Ravi Ruia has purchased a £113 million mansion in London’s Regent’s Park linked to Russian property investor Andrey Goncharenko.
Hanover Lodge was acquired through a sale of the property’s Gibraltar-incorporated holding company.
The off-market deal closed at a time when UK lawmakers are trying to improve transparency around property ownership.
Goncharenko bought the property’s outstanding lease in 2012 from Conservative Raj Kumar Bagri for £120 million.
According to Land Registry property records, the leaseholder – a special purpose vehicle named Green Palace Gardens Limited – has not changed since the 2012 purchase.
Goncharenko was the ultimate owner of the property as recently as 2021.
The Gibraltarian SPV registered with Companies House in January 2023. The beneficial owner is listed as a Cypriot trust, Proteas Trustee Services Ltd.
The mansion’s sale to Ruia has not caused a change in Hanover Lodge’s long lease, which runs until 2161.
A spokesperson for the Ruia family office said:
“The subject property in the UK is under construction and became available at a price which makes it an attractive investment for the family office.”
The 2,400 sqm mansion was once the residence of the French ambassador to the UK.
It was the most expensive publicly known asset in Goncharenko’s London portfolio.
Goncharenko, who is not the target of sanctions put in place following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, also previously bought two other homes in Hampstead and Belgravia.
In recent decades, international buyers have dominated the market for London’s most expensive homes. This is partially due to London’s property laws and the possibility to purchase homes discreetly.
However, this market has come under greater scrutiny since the UK government introduced laws in 2022 that require offshore companies that own property in England and Wales to name their ultimate owner in a register of overseas entities.
The success of this initiative has been mixed.
Hanover Lodge, a Grade II-listed building, was built in 1827 and was designed by John Nash, the architect behind what would become Buckingham Palace.
The mansion contains a gym, a sauna and a gallery as well as accommodation for in-house staff and a swimming pool that can be converted into a ballroom.
Ravi Ruia amassed his fortune through the Essar conglomerate, which he founded more than 50 years ago with his brother Shashi.
The business has $8 billion in assets under management and owns companies in various sectors, including metal, mining, infrastructure and energy.
In areas such as Mayfair and Westminster, properties typically attract overseas buyers.
But the prices of homes have been more resilient in the second quarter of 2023 than in other neighbourhoods such as Richmond and Holland Park, which are more associated with domestic buyers.