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Lodha Group enters UK mkt, buys Canadian High Commission in London’s Mayfair for residential development

Leading real estate firm Lodha Group will enter the UK market  with the acquisition of one of London’s most prestigious property assets—One Grosvenor Square (the Canadian High Commission) in Mayfair, global property adviser Knight Frank announced in a release on Saturday.

Reacting to the development, Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director, Knight Frank India, said, “The Lodha group is one of the most reputed brands within India’s real estate space and we are delighted to work with them on this strategic initiative. I consider the deal significant as it speaks volumes about the underlying strength of the Indian real estate sector.”

Lodha Group, advised by Knight Frank, on November 29 night exchanged contracts to acquire the landmark building in prime central London from the Canadian Government for £306 million.

Commenting on the deal, Abhinandan Lodha, deputy managing director of Lodha Group, said, “London and the UK offer significant opportunities for a high-quality developer focused on creating a large scale housing development business there. We plan to focus on Mumbai and London as our two main markets and serve London in the same manner that we serve Mumbai – with world class product intended to serve all key market segments. It is a very proud moment for company to be selected as the purchaser by the Canadian Government after a highly competitive bidding process involving top global developers and sovereign wealth funds.”

However, Justin Gaze, head of Residential Development Land, Knight Frank, said, “This purchase, Lodha Group’s first acquisition in London, is a strategically significant one. We expect Mayfair’s residential offering to rise to meet the area’s image as one of London’s centers of luxury.”

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Privately held Lodha Group is India’s largest real estate developer with net sales exceeding Rs 8,700 crore in 2012-13. The group is currently developing over 35 million sq ft of prime real estate, with over 20 projects in Mumbai, Pune & Hyderabad. The company is one of the largest employers in Mumbai with over 3400 direct associates and over 25,000 workmen at its sites. It is constructing the world’s tallest residential tower, World One, in Mumbai and has brought some of the top global names to India– including Armani/Casa, Trump, Philippe Starck, Jade Jagger, Greg Norman and Pei Cobb Freed.

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