Steel magnate dies after fall
London - One of Britain's wealthiest industrialists has died in a fall from his luxury penthouse in central London after his steel company was brought to the brink of collapse.
Angad Paul, the chief executive of Caparo Holdings and the son of a billionaire peer, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics after his body was found on a roof adjacent to his family home on Sunday morning.
His death comes just two weeks after Caparo Industries, the family's steel subsidiary, was put into administration in Britain at an immediate cost of 450 jobs and the closure of three sites.
The administrator PWC has warned that a further 1 200 posts are at risk within the company, which has multiple sites across the Midlands and produces forged and pressed metal products for the aerospace and the car industries, amongst others.
Trade unions said the potential collapse of the company was a devastating blow to the British steel industry.
Paul, 45, who had two children, had taken over the reins of Caparo in 1996 from his father, Swraj Paul, who had built the family business into a global conglomerate from nothing after arriving in Britain in the 1960s.
Lord Paul, 84, who was made a Labour peer in 1996 and donated £500 000 to the party over several years, was estimated earlier this year to be worth £2bn. The family had suffered an earlier tragedy in the 1960s when their daughter, Ambika, died of leukaemia. Friends and relatives spoke yesterday about their devastation over Angad Paul's sudden death.
His father-in-law, Jeffrey Bonn, whose media-lawyer daughter Michelle married Paul in 2005, told the Evening Standard: “We are all in pieces. We are very much in shock, nothing can be said. He was a very good, very generous and very kind man. He was dearly loved and will be so sadly missed.”
Police were called to the eight-storey building in Portland Place where Paul lived, opposite BBC Broadcasting House, shortly after 11am on Sunday. He is believed to have suffered catastrophic injuries in a fall from the 10-apartment complex where his parents and two older twin brothers also lived.
Scotland Yard said it was treating the death as non-suspicious.
After taking over the reins of Caparo, Paul diversified the company with a range of ventures into the worlds of film, design and even supercars. The Caparo T1, launched in 2006, was the world's fastest road-legal supercar. Built by former engineers from the McLaren Formula One team, it had a price-tag of £800 000.
Paul, who had a degree in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was also listed as an executive director on director Guy Ritchie's gangster hit Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and worked with stars including Gene Hackman and James Cordon.
He also set up a joint venture with Alasdhair Willis, the husband of Stella McCartney, making upmarket furniture. But the collapse of global steel prices was a heavy blow to the family's core interests. Sixteen of the 20 businesses in the Caparo Industries group are now in administration.THE INDEPENDENT