Lakshmi Mittal and family
The furnaces are roaring again in the steel industry. Mittal, 66, the largest steelmaker in the world, is feeling the effect in his bank balance and on the Rich List, where his £6.1bn increase from last year is one of the highest annual rises to date. Shares in Mittal’s main operation, Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal, are up sharply after it reported a $1.8bn profit in 2016 after a $7.9bn loss the year before.
Mittal, as chairman and chief executive, has seen his family holding grow more than £5.3bn in value to £8.6bn. The metal has been Mittal’s life since childhood after his father Mohan built up a steel business in early 1950s Calcutta. While working for the firm, Mittal moved to Indonesia in 1976 then in 1995 separated his own steel operation from the family’s Indian ventures and went his own way, acquiring and turning around underperforming steel enterprises worldwide. A series of deals led to the creation in 2006 of ArcelorMittal, whose board members include his son Aditya and daughter Vanisha.
Mittal settled in London in 1995 where he spent more than £300m for three houses in Kensington Palace Gardens and is a shareholder in Championship football club QPR, along with his son-in-law Amit Bhatia, who is its vice-chairman. Past dividends give Mittal cash assets of about £2.8bn, while stakes in other companies and property assets add to the family’s fortune.