Inside London’s Billionaires Row: A steel tycoon’s ‘Summer Palace’ with 12 bathrooms and a basement pool

The Summer Palace on The Bishops Avenue. INSIDER/Bill Bostock

  • A mile-long road in London has been the city’s Billionaires Row since World War II: the capital’s destination for luxury, scandal, murder, and secrecy.
  • Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal scooped up the Summer Palace in 1996 with cash from his 38% share in ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, of which he is also CEO.
  • The Summer Palace has 12 bathrooms, six reception rooms, and a basement with a swimming pool, jacuzzi and steam room, accessed by a glass elevator.
  • This post is part of an interactive series by Insider profiling Billionaires Row.

Lakshmi Mittal was named as the UK’s fifth-richest man in 2018, with a net worth of nearly £16 billion ($US20.5 billion) accrued from his role as CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker.

And one of the ways he put his wealth to use was acquiring a 25,000 sq-ft, 11-bedroom mansion on The Bishops Avenue – London’s Billionaires Row.

He bought the lavish home, nicknamed Summer Palace, in 1996 for £7 million ($US11 million.)

It has 12 bathrooms and six reception rooms. Its basement features a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and steam room, all accessed by a glass elevator.

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Lakshmi Mittal’s Summer Palace. INSIDER/Bill Bostock

It has two staff apartments on its first floor, each of which have three bedrooms of their own.

When Mittal wanted to sell in the early 2000s he struggled to find a buyer and spent several years renting it out at £10,000 ($US16,000) a week.

Mittal had reportedly decided to sell his Summer Palace because Barnet Council, the local authority, had granted permission to redevelop a neighbouring mansion into luxury apartments which would overlook his garden.

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A small ceramic wall plaque on the exterior of Summer Palace. INSIDER/Bill Bostock

While Mittal was trying to shift the Summer Palace in 2004, he bought Formula 1 founder Bernie Ecclestone’s £57 million ($US105 million) 15-bedroom townhouse on Kensington Palace Gardens, a street just west of central London known for housing embassies.

The same year, Mittal splashed £30 million ($US55 million) on his 23-year-old daughter’s 2004 wedding, booking out the 17th-century Vaux le Vicomte palace a few miles south of Paris.

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An aerial view of the Summer Palace on The Bishops Avenue. Google Maps

On July 6, 2011, the Summer Palace was finally sold for £36 million ($US57 million) to an unnamed eastern European oligarch.

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The Summer Palace, on The Bishops Avenue. LOOP Engineering

The official owners, Kerner Limited, immediately filed planning permission to add a second basement with a relaxation area for staff, new storage space, and a security control room to monitor CCTV cameras.

As with many of the homes on The Bishops Avenue, the owner is a company registered in a tax haven.

In this case Kerner Limited are based in Jersey, which has no capital gains tax, a low goods tax, and low stamp duty.