Home » East Africa’s first billionaire Sudhir Ruparelia buys Lotis Towers from dfcu Bank

East Africa’s first billionaire Sudhir Ruparelia buys Lotis Towers from dfcu Bank

The latest addition to Ruparelia's holdings comes amidst ongoing legal disputes with dfcu Bank over the defunct Crane Bank

by Omokolade Ajayi
Sudhir Ruparelia

Sudhir Ruparelia, a leading Ugandan businessman recognized as East Africa’s first billionaire, has added another jewel to his crown with the acquisition of Lotis Towers, a prestigious multi-million dollar building nestled in the heart of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city.

The acquisition of Lotis Towers, a 14-storied upscale building located at plot 16 MacKinnon Road, Nakasero, was confirmed by Sudhir Ruparelia himself following a bank auction. Ruparelia secured ownership of the property from Development Finance Company of Uganda Bank Limited (dfcu Bank), solidifying his position as a key player in the region’s real estate sector.

Lotis Towers under new ownership: Tenants informed

In a memo issued on May 2, 2024, Ruparelia announced his ownership of Lotis Towers, informing tenants of the commercial building, including entities such as Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Cairo Bank International, British American Tobacco (BAT), and the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), that he is the new landlord.

“This serves to communicate that property comprised in Freehold Register Volume KCCA 40, Folio 23, Plot 16, Army Avenue, Nakasero, Kampala was sold pursuant to a public auction by DFCU Bank Ltd. through its auctioneers Jubilee Auctioneers to Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia and Jyotsna Ruparelia,” stated Ruparelia in the memo, emphasizing that all future dealings regarding the property will be with him.

Legal disputes with dfcu Bank

At 68 years old, Sudhir Ruparelia continues to expand his business empire, which already includes a diverse array of assets such as hotels, country clubs, and more than 200 commercial properties. Confirming the acquisition of Lotis Towers, Ruparelia remarked, “It is true I have bought it after an auction. The building has been on the market for a long time.”

The latest addition to Ruparelia’s holdings comes amidst ongoing legal disputes with dfcu Bank over the defunct Crane Bank. Last year, Ruparelia filed a lawsuit against dfcu Bank for $8.66 million in rent arrears, citing a breach of the tenancy agreement for properties at plots 38 and 40A Kampala Road.

Uganda’s richest Sudhir Ruparelia’s empire

Sudhir Ruparelia, often regarded as Uganda’s richest individual, made headlines in 2012 when he became East Africa’s first billionaire with a net worth of $1.1 billion.

As the chairman and founder of The Ruparelia Group, he has established a conglomerate specializing in education, real estate development and management, hotels, resorts, floriculture, and broadcasting.

Ruparelia’s journey to success began in 1985 when he returned to Uganda from the United Kingdom. Through entities like Meera Investments, a leading property developer he founded, Ruparelia has played a pivotal role in shaping Ugandas real estate landscape, earning a reputation for innovation and excellence in property development and construction.

The acquisition of Lotis Towers underscores Ruparelia’s unwavering commitment to expanding his business interests and solidifying his position as a key figure in East Africa’s economic landscape.

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