Ko­tak fam­ily buys Worli bun­ga­low of Ran­jit Chougule

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Bidya Sa­pam bidya.s@livemint.com

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.

MINT/FILE

Cham­pagne House, res­i­dence of Ran­jit Chougule

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