Billionaire Lakshmi Mittal appears to be betting on a strong recovery of the UK’s construction industry, by investing more than £200 million (€248 million) of his family’s money into the sector.
Mittal Investments, the private investment vehicle of the family, is buying £285 million worth of assets in the UK from Lafarge and Anglo American, said a statement.
The Indian family, which owes its $16 billion (€12.5 billion) fortune to Luxembourg-based steel giant ArcelorMittal, said the purchase shows its “confidence in the future growth of the UK economy and more specifically the construction sector”.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, output in the construction industry fell by 13.1% year on year in September.
The assets being sold by cement-maker Lafarge and mining group Anglo American include a cement plant and 172 ready-mix concrete plants. The deal is expected to be completed in early 2013.
This is the first time the family’s holding company has invested in the construction sector – its current interests are mainly in the oil and energy divisions.
Mittal, who is Britain’s richest man, owns more than 40% of ArcelorMittal. The family business had revenues of $65 billion for the nine months ending 30 September 2012, down from $71 billion for the same period in 2011.