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Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad dies: Who was Sweden's billionaire business magnate?

29 January, 2018, 02:44 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Ingvar Kamprad

Ingvar Kamprad, the enigmatic founder of Swedish furniture giant IKEA, died aged 91 on Sunday, the company said.

He died on Saturday following a brief illness with his family at his side.

Mr Kamprad's success with Ikea made him one of the richest men in the world with Forbes Magazine estimating his fortune at $23 billion in 2010.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Kamprad "made home furnishing available for many people, not just the few" while King Carl XVI Gustaf added he was a "true entrepeneur" who "brought Sweden out to the world". "He worked until the..."

In the later years of his life, Mr Kamprad faced questions over his past links to fascist groups - something he admitted, but said was a "mistake".

Born into a family of rural farmers, Kamprad was a self-described lazy, dyslexic child who flirted with far-right groups in Sweden as a teenager, grew into a hard-driving alcoholic as an adult, and built one of the most influential design and retail companies of the 20th century.

Revenues were more than 38 billion euros ($47.2 billion) past year and the IKEA annual catalogue is said to be more widely read than the Bible.


In 2013, Kamprad also left Ikea's board but still continued to be active in the company as an advisor. The company started by selling christmas cards and pens via mail order.

A report by the Green party in European Parliament a year ago said Ikea avoided one billion euros ($1.2 billion) in EU taxes between 2009 to 2014.

Kamprad faced harsh criticism in the past for his ties to the Nazi youth movement during World War II.

Kamprad's lightbulb moment arrived in the 1950s when he saw an employee removing the legs from a table to help a customers transport it.

More than 70 years after its founding, the retailer is now heading for close to £44bn in annual revenues.

Almost two decades later, a book by Swedish journalist Elisabeth Asbrink extended the claims, linking Kamprad to a group that succeeded the country's swastika-flying National Socialist Workers Party.

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