A bitter feud between two of the world’s richest brothers has culminated in one of them being declared bankrupt with debts of $160 million.
Pramod Mittal, who reportedly spent $82 million on his daughter’s three-day wedding in 2013, is the brother of Lakshmi Mittal. Lakshmi is Britain’s 19th richest person, having made a fortune as head of Arcelor Mittal, the world’s largest steel maker. His fortune is estimated at some $10 billion.
British newspaper The Times reports that Pramod, 64, “appears to have lost a fortune while becoming embroiled in an investigation into organized crime.” Pramod was questioned by Bosnian police last year.
The brothers, who live in splendor in mansions on opposite sides of London’s Hyde Park, have been estranged for several years.
However Lakshmi’s ruthless decision to abandon his brother to his financial fate has caught observers of London’s ultra high net worth individuals by surprise, given that last year he was widely reported to have helped pay off a £235 million debt owed by Pramod to an Indian government trading company.
The brothers’ rivalry is well known and reached its public apogee in the ultra-lavish wedding that Pramod threw for his daughter Shristi, featuring a 60-kilo, six-tier wedding cake, which was widely seen as a snub to Lakshmi, who is said to have spent $60 million on the wedding of his daughter Vanisha. That celebration, in 2004, was held at the Palace of Versailles outside Paris and culminated in a private performance by Kylie Minogue set to fireworks launched from the Eiffel Tower.
It had been assumed by many that Lakshmi would continue to reach into his ample pockets to protect the family name; however, a source told The Times, “They are no longer close and live separate lives. Lakshmi does not see why he should be financially responsible for his brother. This debt has nothing to do with him.”
Pramod’s bankruptcy can be traced back to a 2006 deal to act as guarantor for a Bosnian business that went under.
Michael Swangard and Duncan Lockhart, partners at the global law firm Clyde & Co., told The Times, “Mr. Mittal’s bankruptcy represents a significant step forward… in what has been a long and arduous process.”