Lakshmi MIttal grew up in this palatial bungalow in Kolkata’s tony Alipore. He moved out of the city in the 1970s to start an entrepreneural journey that would make him the undisputed king of the global steel industry within three decades
Billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, pictured with wife Usha
In these cash-strapped times, it’s a lucky father who can afford to help his children on to the property ladder.
Especially when the sums involved run into hundreds of millions of pounds.
After buying an £117million mansion near his London home for his son Aditya, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal has just splashed out a further £70million on a place thought to be for daughter Vanisha.
The combined value of the three properties, which are a few hundred
yards apart in Kensington Palace Gardens, is said to be an astonishing £440million.
But Vanisha’s house still needs a great deal of work to bring it up to the standard
of the others, which will cost many more millions.
Kensington Palace Gardens, also known as Billionaires’ Row, is a tree-lined private avenue dotted with foreign embassies near the last home of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Mittal, 58, bought his first house there for £57million four years ago from Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone.
Known as the Taj Mittal and said to be the world’s most expensive private home, its total area is 55,000 square feet. It contains marble imported from the quarry mined to build the Taj Mahal, and includes a Turkish bath, ballroom, bejewelled swimming pool and oak-panelled picture gallery.
Latest acquisition: The £70million home in Kensington Palace Gardens just bought by Mr Mittal was the former Philipine Embassy
Noel De Keyzer of Savills estate agents, who specialises in superprime London properties, said: ‘Bearing in mind that the Mittals have carried substantial improvements since buying it, and that it is probably the largest private house in central London after Buckingham Palace, I would put its current value at close to
‘This huge jump in value - almost four times in as many years - may have given Mr Mittal the appetite to increase his ownership at this address.’
It was last month when Mittal bought a lavishly furnished property near the Israeli Embassy - complete with a significant art collection - for a world record £117million
from hedge fund tycoon Noam Gottesman.
It will be home to Aditya, 32, who currently lives in nearby Belgravia with his wife, Megha, a former Goldman Sachs banker, and their two daughters.
Aditya is the finance director of his father’s company, Arcelor Mittal, the world’s
The portfolio of Mr Mittal's properties includes this £57million property in Kensington Palace Gardens, which he bought four years ago
The four-storey house has at least five bedroom suites plus extensive servants’ quarters.
It was built from red brick and Portland stone in the early 1900s, and measures 13,000 square feet - which is relatively modest for this street.
The third house, the former Philippines Embassy, is expected to be modernised for Vanisha, 27, who is also on the board of the company. It was bought from the Crown Estate.
Lakshmi Mittal grew up in India in a modest house with no running water or electricity where 20 family members shared a few rooms.
He was named, somewhat prophetically, after Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth.
Just around the corner: Another nearby property that Mr Mittal bought for a record £117million last month
In June 2004, he spent a reported £34million on Vanisha’s wedding to Amit Bhatia, a Delhi-born investment banker.
A thousand guests flew in for five days of events in France, including an engagement party at Versailles, wedding ceremony at Vaux le Vicomte (the finest château in France), an hour-long play that told the story of how the couple met and fell in love, dinner in the Jardin des Tuileries cooked by chefs flown in from Calcutta, and serenades from Mittal’s favourite Bollywood stars plus Kylie Minogue.
None of this expense will make much of a dent in Mittal’s finances. He is worth an estimated £27.7billion.
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