Indian vaccine tycoon Poonawalla buys London townhouse for £138m

Sum paid for Aberconway House is the second-highest on record for a property in London

Aberconway House was built for the industrialist Henry McLaren, who later became Lord Aberconway. Photo: Shutterstock
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Adar Poonawalla, a man known as the “prince of vaccines”, is poised to buy London’s second most expensive home, after agreeing a deal to pay about £138 million for a mansion in Mayfair.

The 42-year-old Indian vaccine tycoon is buying Aberconway House, a 25,000 square foot home near Hyde Park, from billionaire businesswoman Dominika Kulczyk, the daughter of the late Jan Kulczyk who was once Poland’s richest man.

Ms Kulczyk bought the red-brick five-storey mansion for £57 million three years ago, according to reports.

Mr Poonawalla, who has two children and was educated at St Edmund’s School in Canterbury and at the University of Westminster, has rented the grade II-listed property since 2021.

The £138 million price tag is the second highest sum ever paid for a property in London.

The property will be acquired by Serum Life Sciences, which is wholly-owned by the Poonawalla family. They also own vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, which produced almost half of AstraZeneca Covid-19 shots. Mr Poonawalla was appointed the company’s chief executive in 2011.

The family, which produces affordable vaccines for low- and middle-income countries, was the sixth richest in India in 2021.

A source told The Times the family have no plans to move to the UK but will stay at the property when they are in the country.

Mr Poonawalla is rumoured to own paintings by Picasso, Dali, Rembrandt and Rubens, as well as a fleet of about 35 rare cars.

The property was built for the industrialist Henry McLaren, who later became Lord Aberconway.

It is the most expensive sold recently, but does not hold the record.

That belongs to 2-8a Rutland Gate, which was sold by the estate of the late Saudi crown prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz for £210 million in 2020.

It is now on the market again but is rumoured to be heavily dilapidated.

Updated: December 12, 2023, 8:40 PM