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Downfall of a large spending magnate: Pramod Mittal faces bankruptcy

The bride was gorgeous in her traditional red and gold wedding sari, on fire with countless diamonds in her headpiece, earrings and nose ring.

The groom carved a no less magnificent figure and arrived astride a white horse, dressed in a richly embroidered jacket with a white plume floating from his red turban.

Father of the bride, Pramod Mittal, 64, was bursting with paternal pride. The marriage of his daughter Shristi in 2013 to Dutch-born investment banker Gulraj Behl was not only a spectacle in itself, it was also one of Pramod’s bigger brothers, Lakshmi. Actually about ten million more.

Lakshmi MIttal

Pramod Mittal

Pramod Mittal

Family ties: Lakshmi MIttal, left, still has to help his brother Pramod, right, who has been served with a bankruptcy order against £ 139,786,656.43 – plus interest

As a descendant of the ultra-rich Mittal Steel Dynasty, Pramod had spent £ 50 million on Shristi’s wedding.

Lakshmi, 70, spent about £ 40 million on his daughter Vanisha’s wedding at the Palace of Versailles in 2004, while Australian pop star Kylie Minogue gave a private performance.

Who knows if Lakshmi was stung by sibling rivalry? But when judge Catherine Burton filed for bankruptcy against Pramod last month over a debt of £ 139,786,656.43 – plus interest – at the Insolvency and Companies Court in London, he remarkably declined to seek the rescue of his younger brother.

And as if that phenomenal debt is not enough, Pramod also gets caught up in an investigation into organized crime in the former war-torn Balkan state of Bosnia. He was arrested last year and released on bail of ¤1 million.

Despite the huge sums involved, Lakshmi could easily afford to save his younger brother.

His Luxembourg-based Arcelor Mittal steel company is valued in the stock market at just over £ 9 billion, making his stake worth over £ 3 billion.

He also owns a 20 percent stake in Queens Park Rangers football club and has an estimated £ 6.8 billion treasure, according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List.

In the past, he put his hands in his spacious pockets to help Pramod. And sources near Lakshmi deny that the brothers are alienated.

Pramod Mittal's daughter Shristi ties the knot at her £ 50 million wedding in Barcelona

Pramod Mittal's daughter Shristi ties the knot at her £ 50 million wedding in Barcelona

Pramod Mittal’s daughter Shristi ties the knot at her £ 50 million wedding in Barcelona

One of them said, “If there was a disagreement, it would have been a long time since Lakshmi left [in business] only. But all the tensions from then were long ago.

Lakshmi is the most successful family member and has provided them with significant financial support for many years.

He feels for his brother, but on this occasion he thinks that he should not intervene and that his brother should arrange this himself. ‘

Be that as it may, the filthy bankruptcy and Bosnian scandal hadn’t occurred to everyone six years ago during Shristi’s wedding spectacle in Barcelona.

Pramod chose to host the event there because of his love for the famous Catalan modernist architect Antoni Gaudi.

The celebrations, which lasted three days in early December, started with a welcome dinner at the Barcelona Maritime Museum.

On the second day, the 500 guests – reportedly asked to sign nondisclosure agreements – were treated to a water and light display at the Magic Fountain in Montjuic district, accompanied by the theme song Chariots Of Fire and an equestrian show featuring Andalusian and Arabian horses.

The ceremony itself took place in the Oval Hall of the National Museum of Catalan Art, which houses works by Titian and the great Spanish painter Velazquez.

The menu was chaired by Michelin-starred Catalan chef Sergi Arola, who trained with Ferran Adria from legendary El Bulli restaurant.

The six tier wedding cake weighed more than 9 stones.

Pramod had already hosted an exaggerated wedding for his eldest daughter Vartika.

She married at a lavish ceremony at Istanbul’s Ciragan Palace in another three-day affair in 2011, which was described as bigger than Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton the same year.

The Mittal family’s fortune stems from the steel empire founded in India in the 1950s by their father Mohan.

However, most of Lakshmi’s wealth is homemade. He began branching out independently in the 1970s and 1980s, with a strategy to buy and reverse underperforming steelworks, often state-owned.

Lakshmi's London Home: The Billionaire Owns Several Other Homes in Kensington Palace Gardens Known as' Billionaires' Boulevard '

Lakshmi's London Home: The Billionaire Owns Several Other Homes in Kensington Palace Gardens Known as' Billionaires' Boulevard '

Lakshmi’s London Home: The Billionaire Owns Several Other Homes in Kensington Palace Gardens Known as’ Billionaires’ Boulevard ‘

In 2006, after a series of mergers, ArcelorMittal was formed, making it the largest steel baron in the world.

He now has 191,000 employees and major operations in 18 countries and produces nearly 90 million tons of steel.

Lakshmi settled in London in 1995 and bought several houses in Kensington Palace Gardens known as’ Billionaires’ Boulevard ‘.

Pramod, whose London mansion is a few miles away on the other side of Hyde Park, has had a somewhat more checkered business career.

As Lakshmi branched out, Pramod and another younger brother, Vinod, ran parts of the family empire, including a company called Global Steel Holdings.

The roots of Pramod’s current humiliation go back to 14 years when he agreed to vouch for the debts of a metallurgical coke producer in Bosnia, known as GIKIL, a partnership between his Isle of Man registered Global Steel Holdings and the Bosnian state.

In a deal that would prove devastating, he and Global Steel Holdings signed an agreement to guarantee GIKIL’s debts.

GIKIL subsequently did not repay to a steel trading company in London.

That debt was subsequently pursued by a company called Moorgate Industries, which had obtained the bankruptcy order.

To make matters worse, Pramod was arrested and questioned by the Bosnian prosecutors in July last year on suspicion of involvement in organized crime, economic crime and abuse of power.

He was released on bail, but investigations are continuing.

As for the bankruptcy case, Pramod’s attorney, Richard Viegas of Collyer Bristow, said his office had been ordered to appeal.

Pramod declined to respond to a request from his lawyer to comment on his arrest in Bosnia and the allegations of involvement in organized crime.

He also declined to comment on whether he had approached his brother Lakshmi to settle the dispute with Moorgate and whether the two brothers were estranged from each other.

“Mr Mittal does not want to comment on matters related to his family, but finds the suggestions unfounded,” said his lawyer.

Lakshmi Mittal has previously given his brother very generous support.

Last year, he paid off most of a £ 235 million debt to an Indian state company.

This time, however, he appears to have washed his hands of his heavily indebted brother.

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