A spokesperson for the Serum Institute declined to comment on behalf of Poonawalla. A spokesperson for Kulczyk declined to comment.
The deal will be a boost for the luxury homes
market in central London, which has been hit by a combination of Brexit and the pandemic. Rents have fallen by 9.2% in the past five years in Mayfair, according to LonRes, a property data company.
There’s been a “massive increase” in demand for staffing from wealthy clients renting properties in London
and the English countryside because they are upscaling or want a home with a bigger garden, according to Elaine Braid, chief executive officer at Poppy Lane Placements, a boutique agency supplying staff to luxury private homes.
Poonawalla, who is currently spearheading the production of millions of doses of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine, has long had links to the U.K. and studied at London’s University of Westminster. The businessman previously failed in a bid to buy the Grosvenor Hotel in Mayfair and turn part of it into a home.
Britain is “definitely a place I would want a second home,” he told Bloomberg News
in a 2016 interview.
Poonawalla is part of one of the world’s richest families, which has a $15 billion fortune, the bulk of it derived from the vaccine
maker, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The stamp duty sales tax, which is higher for overseas purchasers and owners of multiple homes, may be deterring wealthy people from buying London
properties, said Fred Scarlett, a director at luxury homes
developer Clivedale London. An additional levy on buyers based abroad is being introduced next month.
“If you are buying a house on a two- to 10-year play, then a lot of overseas buyers will scratch their heads and think why am I paying all this tax, why not just rent?” he said.
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