Rank : 1 Worth : £17,514m
Steel magnate Mittal, 56, tops The Sunday Times Rich List seven years in a row. He is the highest faller in this year’s Rich List but still has the fastest-growing fortune.
This year he plans to build a "Zero Carbon" Footprint estate in Surrey a 340 acre estate also called Alderbrook Park which was built as a country estate during the 19th century but was part-demolished in the 1950s and replaced with a less-attractive home. He purchased the estate for £5.25 million ands is planning to spend £25 million on it to make it 100 per cent self-sufficient and eco-friendly. The unique modern design will not only ensure the house is zero-carbon, but will make the entire 340-acre estate carbon negative.
Mittal, who has turned round ailing former state-owned mills around the world, knows all there is to know about steel. He learnt about business in Calcutta. His father moved to the city and built up a steel business, while Lakshmi excelled at university, topping his class in business and accountancy. After working in the family firm, Mittal moved to Indonesia. With backing from his father, he founded a steel plant and by the mid-1980s was a serious player in the world market. In 1995 he separated his own steel interests from the family’s Indian businesses, and went his own way.
Mittal settled in London although he retains his Indian passport. His US-educated son, Aditya, also based in London, plays an increasingly important role in the business as president and chief financial officer of Mittal Steel and led the recent bid for Arcelor. The family’s stake in Mittal Steel prior to the merger was worth more than £17 billion as its shares had risen sharply. The family will emerge with about 43.4% of the new entity.
From 1998 to 2005, the Mittals had £1.57 billion in dividends from its steel operations . About £434m has been reinvested elsewhere, leaving £1.13 billion in family hands. The Mittals will receive at least £413m in dividends from the new group in 2007. A separate investment portfolio is valued at £570m. Mittal set a world record for a private home when he paid £70m to Bernie Ecclestone (qv), the Formula One supremo, for a house in London’s exclusive Kensington Palace Gardens. In all, the Suday Times reckons the family is worth £19,250m.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is a 115 metres (377 ft) high observation tower under construction in the Olympic Park in Stratford, London. The project is expected to cost £19.1m, with £16m of that coming from Lakshmi Mittal, with the balance of £3.1m coming from the London Development Agency. The official name of the sculpture, "ArcelorMittal Orbit", combines the name of Mittal's company, as chief sponsor, with Orbit, the original working title of the designers.
The steel sculpture will be Britain's largest piece of public art, and is intended to be a permanent, lasting legacy of London's hosting of the 2012 Summer Olympics, assisting in the post-Olympics regeneration of the Stratford area.
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