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Sun 14 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

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Picking up a pad on Billionaires’ Boulevard

Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal paid a cool $173m for a house in London's most prestigious street.

As houses go, a neo-Georgian four-storey mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens - dubbed Billionaires’ Boulevard - in London’s most prestigious street is certainly not one for the bargain property hunter.

When steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, Britain’s richest man, bought a property on the tree-lined private avenue near Lady Diana’s former home, the price tag was a cool $173m. It was Britain’s most expensive home when the deal went through in May, after a flat in nearby St James’s Square was sold was for $170m two months earlier.

Israeli-American financier Noam Gottesman, with a reputation as one of the most formidable traders in the City, was believed to be the lucky seller. The four-storey house, next to the Israeli Embassy, has at least five bedroom suites plus lavish servant’s quarters and is described as an institutional neo-Georgian building typical of the 1920s onwards. If the house itself was not enough, it came furnished with a valuable art collection.

The house was thought to be for Mittal’s son Aditya, 32, the CFO of the world’s largest steel company, Arcelor Mittal. Aditya reportedly wanted to be near his father, who has an estimated personal fortune of $41bn, and who also lives in Kensington Palace Gardens. Lakshmi bought that house in 2004 for $84m from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.

Gottesman is worth around $680m and is most well-known for setting up GLG, the global investment company. He made a name for himself as a trader in the City with Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs.

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