Head of world’s largest vaccine manufacturer ‘to pay £50,000 a week for Mayfair home’

Date

March 25, 2021

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arZan

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News

CEO at Serum Institute said to have agreed to pay Polish billionaire record sums for 25,000 square foot London mansion

Article By Hayley Dixon | The Telegraph

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Adar Poonawalla is a member of one of the world’s richest families, which has a $15 billion fortune

The head of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer is said to have agreed to pay one of the highest rents in Britain at £50,000 a week for his Mayfair home.

Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer at the Serum Institute of India, is said to have agreed to pay the record sums to Polish billionaire Dominika Kulczyk for a 25,000 square foot mansion in one of the country’s most exclusive neighbourhoods.

The mansion is one of the largest residences in Mayfair, the equivalent size of around 24 average homes, and comes with an adjoining guest house.

A spokesperson for Mr Poonawalla, who lives in Pune city, near Mumbai, did not respond to questions on Wednesday night about whether the agreement meant he planned to spend more time in the UK.

The 40-year-old is a member of one of the world’s richest families, which has a $15 billion fortune, the bulk of it derived from the vaccine maker founded by his father Cyrus Poonawalla in 1996.

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Billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of Serum Institute of India Ltd Credit: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg Finance LP

Two people with knowledge of the transaction told Bloomberg that the rent had been agreed. Spokesmen for both Mr Poonawalla and Ms Kulczyk, who has lived in London for a number of years, declined to comment.

Ms Kulczyk, 43, the daughter of one of Poland’s richest ever men, last year paid £57 million for two stucco-fronted Georgian townhouses in Knightsbridge which was said to be proof of the revival of the capital’s property market.

The Serum Institute, the world’s largest maker of vaccines by dosage which is now producing the most Covid vaccines, is currently running full-tilt to produce 50 million doses per month of the AstraZeneca jab.

It hit the headlines in recent days after it was linked to the first stumbling block in the NHS vaccination programme after five million doses that it was meant to deliver in March faced delays.

Mr Poonawalla has a number of ties to Britain and aged nine was sent to board at St Edmund’s School in Canterbury before going on to study at the University of Westminster.

The businessman who has said that Britain is “definitely a place I would want a second home” previously failed in a bid to buy the Grosvenor Hotel in Mayfair in 2009 and turn part of it into a home. Fred Scarlett, a director at luxury homes developer Clivedale London, said that overseas buyers may be opting to rent rather than buy a house on a “a two- to 10-year play” because of the stamp duty sales tax, which is higher for overseas purchasers.

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