After Hamleys, billionaire Ambani buys Britain’s iconic Stoke Park

By Sayujya S, Desk Reporter
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Stoke Park Image
The Stoke Park

Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries has bought the British Country Club Stoke Park for $79 million, adding an iconic location that’s been the setting for two James Bond films to its portfolio of tourism properties.

A wholly owned unit of Reliance Industries will buy Stoke Park, which owns and manages a hotel, sports and leisure facilities in Buckinghamshire, for $79 million, said an exchange filing. The acquisition will add to Reliance’s consumer and hospitality assets, the filing said.

The latest acquisition for Ambani’s retail-to-refining conglomerate marks its shift toward consumer offerings and yet another high-profile British brand purchase. Reliance bought struggling UK-based toy store chain Hamleys in 2019 and is seeking to revive it.

Heavy with $27 billion in fresh capital after selling stakes in Reliance’s retail and digital units last year, Mr. Ambani is leading a transformation as he seeks to build consumer services into an equal-sized pillar for Reliance Industries, shifting dependence on profits from its traditional oil refining business. Acquiring such global brands are proof of that strategy.

The group “will look to enhance the sports and leisure facilities at this heritage site,” Reliance said in the filing. Mr. Ambani’s conglomerate has equity holding in EIH Ltd., which runs the chain of five star Oberoi Hotels. Mr. Ambani has a net worth of $71.5 billion, making him the 13th richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Stoke Park

The property’s rolling golf course has been famous since James Bond played a game with Auric Goldfinger there in the 1964 blockbuster. Since then, the estate with the Georgian-era mansion set in the midst of 300 acres of parkland has also been a backdrop in productions like “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and Netflix’s British Royal Family drama “The Crown”.

In real life, its 49 luxury bedrooms and suites, 27-hole championship golf course, 13 tennis courts and 14 acres of private gardens attracts wealthy tourists from across the world. Although the Stoke Park estate has a recorded history of over 900 years, it was used as a private residence until 1908, according to its official website.

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