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Lakshmi Mittal is world's third richest

Our Corporate Bureau  |  New Delhi 

12 Indians make it to the Forbes billionaires' list.
With a net worth of $25 billion, has become the third richest man in the world after ($46.5 billion) of ($44 billion) of Berkshire Hathaway, according to Forbes' 2005 listing of billionaires.
Acquisition of in the US and the assimilation of his closely held into Mittal Steel in the past year helped Mittal improve his position on the coveted list, from 62 in 2004 to three this year.
"But it was a $17.8 billion spectacular double-merger at the end of last year that truly catapulted Mittal into the ranks of the three richest people," Forbes said, adding: "The London-based, Rajasthan-born steel baron was the biggest dollar gainer on this year's listing of the world's billionaires, adding $18.8 billion to his net worth."
Mittal first entered the Forbes list of billionaires in 2002 and has steadily improved his ranking since then.
Mittal, according to Forbes, is all set to receive dividends of $260 million, one of the largest dividends ever paid to a family-run business, as Mittal Steel is planning to pay a 40-cents-a-share dividend this year. Mittal and his family own 97 per cent of the company.
"Going forward, the family is understood to be diversifying by selling 11 per cent of the company for $2 billion, reducing their holding to 88 per cent," Forbes added.
Forbes also lists Mittal's lavish lifestyle, which includes his $127 million purchase of a 12-bedroom mansion in London's tony Kensington Palace Gardens, a record price for a private residence, and the $60 million wedding of his daughter Vanisha.
Including Mittal, a record 12 Indians have made it to the list of billionaires this time, up from nine in 2004, seven in 2003, five in 2002 and four in 2001.

The new entrants in the 2005 list include Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways and Dilip Shanghvi of Sun Pharmaceuticals (both at 437), and OP Jindal (548) of the OP Jindal Group.

All improved their rankings in the last one year except Kumarmangalam Birla, who has slipped from 147 in 2004 to 149 in 2005 and Adi Godrej and family, sliding from 277 to 355.
Thus, has gone up from 58 in 2004 to 38 in 2005, the Ambani brothers from 65 to 60, Sunil Mittal from 186 to 164, Pallonji Mistry from 231 to 170, Shiv Nadar from 310 to 272 and Anil Agarwal from 552 to 488.

Who's ahead

1. Bill Gates, Microsoft, $46.5 bn
2. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, $44 bn

First Published: Sat, March 12 2005. 00:00 IST