Billionaire Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad tragically died at the age of 91 this week, and his will has now revealed an amazingly down-to-earth decision.
He was one of the richest people in the world thanks to his flat pack empire’s success across the globe. But instead of leaving his US $58.7 billion (AU $73.8 billion) to his children, he has secured the long-term future of his empire.
According to Bloomberg, his fortune will be dissipated “because of a unique structure put in place by Kamprad to secure the long-term independence and survival of the Ikea concept”.
According to the site, he placed control of the company into several foundations and holding companies decades ago. It essentially means his family will not have direct control of the company.
The majority of Ikea stores are owned by the Stichting Ingka Foundation – a dutch organisation. It is reportedly controlled by Liechtenstein-based Interogo Foundation, and its subsidiary, Inter IKEA is the global IKEA franchisor. The family are thought to still play a minor role in this.
However, it means they can never directly run the company, nor own any shares in it. The Dutch foundation was reportedly set up with a primary focus on donating funds to charity and supporting innovation in design.
Instead, they will be handed a smaller fortune from the family-owned Ikano Group. The site claims this is includes finance, real estate, manufacturing and retail businesses. In 2016, its total assets came to around $10 billion (AU $12.4 billion).
Kamprad had an adopted daughter Annika from his first marriage, and three sons, Peter, Jonas and Mathias, from his second marriage.
Ikea has become one of the most well-known and popular furniture brands across the world. It was founded in Sweden in 1943 by Kamprad, who was then just 17 years old. As of November 2017, Ikea owned and operated 411 stores in 49 countries.
Kamprad “passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones” at his home in the southern Swedish region of Smaland on Saturday “following a brief illness”, Ikea said in a statement.
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