Tuesday 28 March 2017

Son of Lord Paul, the billionaire steel magnate, plunges to his death as the family business collapses

Angad Paul fell from his family's eight storey property two weeks after Caparo Group was forced into administration

Angad Paul and wife Michelle
Angad Paul and wife Michelle
Angad Paul and wife Michelle
Angad Paul, second right, pictured with his parents, Lord and Lady Paul and wife Michelle

Victoria Ward

The son of a peer has died in a fall from his penthouse home two weeks after his family's leading steel company was forced into administration.

Angad Paul, 45, is said to have suffered catastrophic injuries after plummeting from the eight storey property in central London.

Angad Paul and wife Michelle
Angad Paul and wife Michelle

The father-of-two was the youngest son of Lord Paul, 84, billionaire steel magnate and one of the UK's wealthiest men.

The businessman had taken the reins of Caparo Plc, the group founded by his father, in 1996.

But the strain being placed on Britain's steel industry had dealt the company a hammer blow in recent months.

The global business, which has about 20 sites in the Midlands as well as operations sites in India and the US, filed for administration two weeks ago, with the loss of 450 jobs and doubts over a further 1,200. as pressure on the steel industry intensifies.

It had buckled under the combined strain of competition from cheap imports of Chinese steel, high energy prices, onerous business rates and a heavy debt load.

Mr Paul, who married lawyer Michelle Bonn, 40, in 2005, lived at the family home in Marylebone with his parents, Lord and Lady Paul, and his 57-year-old twin brothers Ambar and Akash.

His sister Ambika died of leukaemia shortly after his parents travelled to England from India in the 1960s to seek medical treatment.

Emergency services were called to a building beside his home in Portland Place, Marylebone, on Sunday morning after Mr Paul was seen lying on the roof.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Close friends paid their respects as news of the tragedy spread. One said it was a further blow to Lord Paul, adding: "It is hard, a son is a son."

A Caparo spokesman said it was a "private, family matter."

The Caparo Group comprises 20 businesses, 16 of which are now in administration.

Administrators are said to be considering whether a series of ventures in supercars, film and design led by Mr Paul contributed to the collapse.

He was involved in a number of ventures, and was listed as the executive producer on many of Guy Ritchie's films including Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.

He was also behind the Caparo T1, which was the world's fastest supercar when it was launched in 2006.

It costs hundreds of thousands of pounds to buy and was developed by former McLaren F1 engineers.

According to its 2014 accounts, Caparo Industries’ turnover slipped 1.3pc to £368.1m, and the business fell into the red with a £700,000 operating loss, down from a £3.1m profit last time around.

However Caparo Industries’ UK operation made a £2.5m operating loss in the year, reversing the £1.7m profit made the previous year.

Lord Paul, who has donated around £500,000 to Labour and is friends with Gordon Brown, is one of the country’s 50 wealthiest people, with a fortune estimated at £2bn.

He moved to Britain in 1966 and founded Caparo Group with a £5,000 bank loan.

Starting with a single company making pipes for the gas industry, it grew to become an international business operating in the UK, Europe, India and the US with an annual turnover of $1.5bn and 10,000 staff.

He was made a peer in 1996, sitting as an independent since 2010.

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