Balli Holdings is one of the world’s biggest independent steel traders. It also buys and sells aluminium, chemicals and agricultural products. Other activities include property development, private-equity investment and providing clients with technology, finance and supply-chain management. Chairman Vahid Alaghband fled Iran when the shah was ousted in 1979, losing family wealth built on cotton trading. Before long he started dealing in chemicals and steel in London. Strong sales growth and several acquisitions followed. The company is still owned by the Alaghband family, and reported sales of £587m in 2005.
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