Billionaire SP Hinduja passes away at 87

SP Hinduja, the billionaire patriarch of Britain’s richest family, has passed away in London at the age of 87.

Billionaire SP Hinduja passes away at 87 f

The empire expanded via landmark deals.

SP Hinduja, the billionaire head of Britain’s wealthiest family, has died at the age of 87.

According to reports, he had dementia.

He was the chair of the globe-spanning Hinduja Group conglomerate.

On May 17, 2023, a spokesperson for the family said:

“Gopichand, Prakash, Ashok and the whole Hinduja family with a heavy heart regret to announce the passing away […] of Mr SP Hinduja today.”

The Hinduja family topped the 2022 Sunday Times Rich List after their collective fortune rose by more than £11 billion to reach £28.4 billion, the largest fortune recorded in more than 30 years of the list.

Despite the family’s vast wealth, a judge warned that SP Hinduja’s needs, chiefly medical care for Lewy body dementia, had “become marginalised”, amid a family feud over the ownership of a Swiss bank.

Until his death, SP Hinduja – or Sri – led the family’s empire, which employs 150,000 people, with his brother Gopi.

The siblings began their careers in India but spent most of their time in the UK since the 1970s.

They built the Hinduja Group from a relatively small family enterprise into a company with operations in 38 countries, spanning sectors including the automotive industry, oil, banking, media and healthcare.

The empire expanded via landmark deals.

This included the 1987 purchase of the Ashok Leyland group, which included remnants of the defunct British automotive business British Leyland.

In 1984, the group bought Gulf Oil from the US oil company Chevron.

Their UK property assets include the 67,000 sq ft 18th century Carlton House Terrace near Buckingham Palace and the historic Old War Office building in Whitehall.

The brothers’ late father, Parmanand, began trading carpets, tea and spices in 1914, in a part of what was then British India but is now in Pakistan. He later took the business to Iran.

However, the family’s recent feud revolved around his maxim “everything belongs to everyone and nothing belongs to anyone” and the resulting premise, declared in a letter, that any asset belonging to one brother also belonged to the other three.

In 2015, Sri sued his brothers in the high court.

He said the letter had “no legal effect” and claimed sole ownership of Hinduja Bank in Switzerland.

As his condition worsened in 2022, the family said they had agreed terms to end the feud.

The Hinduja family were accused of “playing Scrooge” after it was alleged that they refused to pay all UK workers the “real living wage” while their own personal wealth increased.

The Hindujas were allowed to avoid planning rules that should have required them to build 98 affordable flats for key workers and low-income workers at their £1.2 billion luxury development of the Old War Office.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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