Kotak family buys Worli bungalow of Ranjit Chougule
MUMBAI: Afteratwo-yearwait, the family office of Uday Kotak finally got their hands on a seafacing property in Mumbai’s upscale neighbourhood Worli.
In one of the largest bungalow deals, executive chairman of Kotak Mahindra Bank and his familyhaveboughtthesprawling residence of Ranjit Chougule, managingdirector of the defunct wine firm Indage Vintners for Rs385 crore , according to two peopleawareofthedevelopment.
Accordingtolocalbrokers, the Kotak family bought the bungalowat20% abovethemarketrate.
Popularly known as Champagne House, the two-storey propertywithtotal size of around 1,900 sq. m has been under the possession of Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Co. Ltd for the last three years. In 2016, Kotak family office entered into amemorandum of understanding (MoU) with Edelweiss to buy the property under which around Rs30 crore was paid in advance, said the first person mentioned above.
However, the deal was not closedastheChougulesandsome other tenants continuedto live in the bungalow. “As the transaction was not able to close, they ( Edelweiss) have even approachedfewdeveloperstosell the property. Now, the tenants have been vacated and everything is settled,” the sameperson said.
Both Chougule and Kotak’s family office have confirmed the deal but declined to provide details of the transaction. “Kotak FamilyOffice invests across sectors. Kotak Family Office has invested in an asset at Worli, Mumbai,” Rohit Rao, spokesperson of the family office, said in an email response.
In a text message, Chougule confirmed that Kotak’s family office has done a “transaction with Edelweiss, our lenders, for our asset in Worli.”
Edelweiss ARC declined to comment on the transaction.
“Thepropertyhasbeenbought as an investment by the family and is not yet clear how it would used in future,” said an official, on condition of anonymity.
FoundedbywinebaronShamrao Chougule and his family in 1982, Indage Vintners (formerly known as Champagne Indage) was one of the largest and oldest wine makers in India. Hit by the global financial crisis in 2008, the company, whichsoldthepopular Riviera brandof wines, wasreelingunderamountingdebtafterit heavilyborrowedtofunditsoverseasacquisitions. Atthetime, the company owed around Rs400 crore to the banks. In 2010, Bombay high court issued a winding-up order to the company.
Later, Edelweiss ARC bought out its loan following which the property came under its possession.
Thelast three years haveseen a few large bungalow transactions both in Mumbai and the national capital region (NCR).
In September 2015, chairman of the AdityaBirla GroupKumar Mangalam Birla bought Jatia HouseatMalabarHillinMumbai for Rs425 crore. A few weeks later, billionaire andchairmanof Serum Institute of India Cyrus Poonawalla acquired Lincoln HouseinSouthMumbaiforRs750 crore, in the largest deal so far.
Last year, Anushka Singh, granddaughterofDLFchairman K.P. Singh bought a sprawling bungalowinLutyen’sDelhifrom the family of Air Chief Marshal Pratap Chandra Lal for Rs477 crore.
“Thereisanimmensedemand for bungalows but it is a rare asset, now particularly in the island city. Except for companyowned ones where they want to exit the property for financial reasons, thereareextremelyrare cases of bungalowsgetting sold,” said AshutoshLimaye, research (head) at JLL India, a property consultant.
According to him, the rates of such transactions do not reflect market conditions. “This is because firstly, there is an extremely lopsided demand and supply in terms of availability of bungalowsforsale, andsecondly, these properties areoften bought for personal purpose. So a lot of emotions and sentiments are involvedinsuchtransaction,” he said.
Champagne House, residence of Ranjit Chougule