Oswals to sell or subdivide Perth mansion; to quit Australia

Natasha Chaku

Melbourne, Jan 17 (PTI) Upset over the intense publicscrutiny, Indian tycoon Pankaj and Radhika Oswal have decidedto sell or subdivide their partially built Perth mansion,dubbed as ''Taj-Mahal-on-the-Swan'', and quit Australia.

Oswals, who are currently in India, have said theywill relocate to Dubai after their 65 per cent shareholding inBurrup Holdings was placed in receivership, according to AAP.

The couple said they look forward to the sale ofBurrup Fertilisers and its still profitable ammonia plant onthe Burrup Peninsula in the Pilbara.

The ANZ Banking Group appointed receiver PPB Advisorylast month after a stoush between Oswal, who is Burrup''schairman and MD and Norway''s Yara International, a 35 per centshareholder and customer of the ammonia plant.

ANZ, owed hundreds of millions of dollars on theproject, has claimed there were evidence of financialirregularities in the business.

Oswals have been building an Indian-style mansion inan expensive Perth suburb of Peppermint Grove overlooking theSwan River of a value of 70 million Australian dollars.

The million dollar domed structure included a temple,a gym, an observatory with a revolving roof and parking for 17cars and was due for completion in 2012.

According to media reports, the work has stopped onthe mansion and the fenced-off site is locked up.

At the weekend, trucks carted off belongings from theOswals'' expensive home in the northern Perth suburb ofDalkeith, where they have been living while the mansion wasbeing built.

Chris Codrington, a spokesman for the Oswals, said noagent had been appointed to sell the place but it was for sale"at the right price".

"One would have to assume that the most likely thingto happen to it is it will be subdivided unless they can findsomebody who likes the look of the home," he was quoted.

"It''s a very personal thing, the way the Oswals havedesigned it, very Indian. The Oswals are obviously looking atwhatever offers have been made and will make a decision in duecourse."

In a statement, the Oswals said they had decided toleave Australia because the level of public scrutiny of themwas too upsetting for their youngest daughter, who attendedschool in Perth.

"We are for the time being residing in New Delhiwhilst we consider our future in light of the pending sale of100 per cent of the extremely profitable Burrup Fertiliserbusiness," they said.

"We have many interests in Asia and the Middle East soa relocation to Dubai is strategically on the cards. We willmake an announcement when our plans are finalised," theyadded.

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