Ingvar Kamprad passed away on January 27, aged 91. The Ikea founder was ranked at No.8 in the Bloomberg Billionaires index as a result of his ownership of Ikea’s global retail fortune that amassed to a huge US$58.7 billion.
Interestingly, Kamprad’s family won’t directly inherit this wealth. In order to secure the survival and long term independence of the stores concept, he set up a unique structure. As a result, his wealth will be dissipated.
The Ikea founder has previously disputed his wealth as he had, decades earlier, placed the control of the world’s biggest furniture seller into the hands of holding companies and a network of foundations.
The structure, set up by Kamprad in the 1980s, is designed to ensure that his family do not gain direct control of the business at any stage.
Kamprad’s heirs will now have a smaller fortune that is derived from the family-owned Ikano Group which is a collection of assets valued at US$10 billion in 2016.
The majority of the Ikea stores are owned by a charitable Dutch business, Stitching Ingka Foundation, whose purpose is to donate to charity and support innovation.
The company’s core values were placed under the ultimate control of Interogo Foundation who are an organisation based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. The subsidiary of this foundation, Inter Ikea, is in fact Ikea’s global franchisor.
In a statement by the head of communications at Interogo Foundation, it was said that “the Kamprad family members in the supervisory councils have been and shall always be a minority”.
Whilst the organisation does call itself a foundation, it does allow for the reinvestment of profits. Because the foundation in fact owns itself, members of the Kamprad family can hold no shares.
The complete structure of the ownership of Ikea was designed so that the values of the brand in its present form would be able to outlive Ingvar Kamprad. Experts in the industry say that this set up ensures that it is impossible for any individual, be it a manager or an heir, to take control of the Ikea business following the death of its founder.
The Bloomberg Billionaires index merely attributes the fortune to Ingvar Kamprad because of his involvement within the business and role as the founder given in pseudo control.
It has been said that Ingvar Kamprad had no interest in money which has been made clear by the nature in which he has set up the company.
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