Just last week a saga played out in the highest levels of the Indian business community which culminated with big brother Mukesh Ambani bailing out his younger brother Anil Ambani by paying Swedish telecom maker Ericsson dues to the tune of 458 crore ₹ owed by his younger brother thereby saving him a prison term of three months.
A lesser known, but equally important tale of a billionaire elder brother coming to the rescue of his younger sibling in a time of crisis was playing out in the Indian business world – this story was one of the Mittals.
Billionaire elder brother, steel magnate and CEO of the world’s largest steelmaking company ArcelorMittal – UK based Lakshmi Mittal has stepped in and helped his younger brother Pramod Mittal pay off a significant portion of the 2,210 crore ₹ claim by State Trading Corporation of India (STC). The elder Mittal is said to have given his younger sibling, Pramod, approximately 1,600 crore ₹ to pay an amount of 2,210 crores as full and final settlement to STC, thereby quashing proceedings, including criminal cases, filed by the Enforcement Directorate and CBI against Pramod and his companies Global Steel Holdings, Global Steel Philippines and Balasore Alloys.
The Mittal family’s steel making steelmaking journey began when father Mohan Lal Mittal started out in the sector in the 1950’s in India. He had three sons; the eldest Lakshmi Mittal, Pramod Mittal and the youngest Vinod Mittal.
While Pramod and Vinod ran the family business, Lakshmi Mittal split his business way back in 1994 and charted out his own course and founded Mittal Steel. In the last 25 years, Lakshmi Mittal has made about a dozen acquisitions to build a global steel empire. His most famous being the takeover and merger by his company Mittal Steel of Western European steel maker Arcelor in 2006 at a cost of 33 Billion $. The merged entity was named ArcelorMittal and is the world’s largest steelmaker and is headquartered in Luxembourg City.
His younger brother Pramod’s troubles coincided with the meltdown in the steel industry and the global financial crisis between 2008 to 2010 that led to his companies suffering huge losses and as a result of this, a substantial amount became due and payable by the company to State Trading Corporation which he just managed to clear with the help of his elder brother.
In return, the Supreme Court has quashed all criminal cases and look out notices against Pramod Mittal and his family and STC has agreed not to pursue winding up proceedings against any of his companies.