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Meet Anders Holch Povlsen: The Richest Man in Denmark

Anders Polveson

Anders Holch Povlsen is a billionaire Danish businessman. This hugely successful man is best known for being the sole owner of Bestseller, an international clothes retailer chain that includes Jack & Jones and Vero Moda. He is also a major shareholder in several other clothing retailers. In addition to his business interests, he is known for owning vast expanses of land across Europe. While this man is well known in business circles, especially within the clothing industry, many things about him are not widely known amongst the general public. Here are 20 interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about Anders Holch Povlsen.

1. He was Born in the Faroe Islands

Anders Holch Povlsen was born in Mikladalur in the Faroe Islands on November 4, 1972. His parents are Troels Holch Povlsen and Merete Bech Povlsen. When Anders was three years old, his family opened their first clothing store in a small town.

2. He Went to University in Berlin

Although he was born in the Faroe Islands and grew up in Denmark, Anders Holch Povlsen opted to study in Berlin, Germany. He attended the Anglia Ruskin University Berlin School of Economics and Law. There, he learned the business skills he would need to take over the company that his parents had founded and become one of the most successful businessmen in Denmark.

3. He Became the Sole Owner of Bestseller at 28

Polvsen’s parent opened their first clothing store in a small Danish town called Brande in 1975. This led to them opening many more stores, which was the beginning of the Bestseller chain. At the age of just 28, Polvsen was made the sole owner of the chain by his father. He now holds the position of CEO of the company. This company now has 17 brands and stores in 45 countries across Europe and including India, China, the Middle East, Canada, and Uruguay. Along with two other partners, Bestseller has interests in Bestseller Fashion Group China. This is a Chinese company that designs collection for more than five thousand stores across China. Povlsen’s father remains on the board of directors for Bestseller.

4. He Has a Personal Net Worth of $7.7 Billion

According to Forbes, Anders Holch Povlsen has a personal net worth of approximately $7.7 billion, although some reports suggest his wealth is more than $8 billion. This makes him the richest man in Denmark and the 252nd richest man in the world. Most of his wealth comes from his position as the owner and CEO of Bestseller, but some of his wealth is from his shares in other companies.

5. He Owns a Romanian Reserve

Forbes also says that Povlsen purchased a large piece of land on a mountainside in Romania. This is now a nature reserve that aims to protect wildlife in Romania. Some of the species that live in this reserve, which is located in the Carpathian Mountain s include lynxes, bears, and wolves.Protecting wildlife is something about which Povlsen is passionate.

6. He is the Largest Shareholder in is the largest online clothes and cosmetics retailer in the United Kingdom. With a 27 percent share in this company, Polvsen is the largest shareholder. ASOS plc was founded in 2000 by Nick Robertson, Andrew Regan, and Quentin Griffiths. ASOS stands for ‘As Seen On Screen’.

7. He Owns a Large Share in Zalando

Anders Holch Polvsen bought a 10 percent stake in Zalando in 2013, which made him the third-largest shareholder in the company. Zalando is a German e-commerce site that sells fashion and lifestyle products. It was founded in 2008, and the Swedish company Kinnevik has the largest stake as it owns 32 percent of the company.

8. He is Married to Anne Holch Povlsen

According to Heavy, Anders Holch Pevlsen met Anna Storm Pedersen when she was working in sales for Bestseller. They went on to marry and have four children. Anne now sits on the board of directors for Bestseller. She is also passionate about interior design and renovates farmhouses into luxury properties. Anne has renovated multiple farmhouses in the Scottish Highlands. Also in Scotland, she converted Killiehuntley, which is now a luxury vacation rental. She has said that when her daughters first saw Killiwhuntley, before she transformed the property, they did not like it. They wanted to know why she had taken them to such a dark and horrible building. Following the conversion, it is a light and luxurious space.

9. Three of His Four Children Were Tragically Killed

Anna and Anders Holch Polvsen had four children together, three girls and a boy, called Agnes, Alma, Astrid, and Alfred, says Heavy. In the Easter holidays of 2019, the Povlsen family took a vacation together to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. They were staying in a luxurious hotel called the Shangri-La. Shockingly, two terrorists hit the hotel in an attack that was later linked to the radical domestic organization National Thowfeek Jamaath (NTI). Tragically, 253 people were killed in this terrorist attack, including three of the Povlsen children. Astrid is their only surviving child as Agnes, Alma, and Alfred were killed.

10. His Family Home is in Aarhus, Denmark

The main family residence where the Povlsen family reside at the old Constantinsborg Estate, which is located just west of Aarhus in Denmark. The estate includes a luxurious manor house and substantial farmland and forests. There has been a manor at this location since at least 1400. Originally, it was called Stadsgaard, but after the manor was owned by Constantin Marselis owned the estate in the 1600s, it was renamed. The current manor house was built in the 1800s, and farm buildings were later added towards the end of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century. f Before Anders owning this property, it was his parents’ home from 1999 to 2002.

11. He Keeps His Personal Life Private

According to the Jakarta Post, Povlsen prefers to keep his personal life private, and this means he has kept his family out of the public eye. Although he has been photographed with his wife on many occasions, there are no photographs of him with his wife and all four of his children in the public domain. The closest to seeing the family together that the public has got are some photographs of the backs of his younger children sitting by the swimming pool on the holiday in which they were the victims of a terror attack. These were taken by his eldest daughter, Alma, who posted them to her Instagram account.

12. He is Friends with Danish Royalty

Similarly, how Povlsen spends his free time is something about which very little is known. However, it is known that he is friends with members of the Danish royal family. Two of his closest friends are Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim. He has been seen and photographed with them on numerous occasions.

13. His Personal Interests are Diverse

In his free time, Povlsen enjoys spending time in the outdoors enjoying the landscape and activities such as hunting. He is also passionate about wildlife, which is evident from his work in Scotland and Romania. Another thing that he is passionate about is sports cars.

14. There Was a Failed Attempt to Kidnap Anders Holch Povlsen

A Danish man who was mistaken for Anders Holch Povlsen was kidnapped in India in 2003. Anders Holch Povlsen was the man they had truly intended to kidnap. It was five days before the kidnappers realized they had mistaken the identity of their victim and released him. However, this had a profound effect on Povlsen and his family when they realized what could have happened. It was reported that the man they kidnapped was actually a family friend of the Povlsen family.

15. The Family Were Also Targeted by an Extortionist

It is not only Anders Holch Povlsen who has been the intended victim of a crime as his whole family came under threat by a man called Kurt Hansen. He threatened to kill the family if they did not hand over $1 million. He sent them multiple threatening letters, and even broke into the family’s estate and carved his initials on their cars. Hansen was eventually apprehended by the police and they searched his home. There, they found a hideaway under the floorboards that contained handcuffs, wigs, books on poisonings, and flammable liquids. This indicated that the man had sinister intentions.

16. Scotland is One of His Favorite Places in the World

One of Povlsen’s favorite places in the world is Scotland. He first developed a passion for this country during the 1980s when he was in his teens. At this time in his life, he would regularly visit Scotland with his family. Now, he splits his time between his main family home in Denmark and the first Scottish estate he bought.

17. Povlsen is the Largest Private Landowner in the United Kingdom

Povlsen first purchased an estate in Scotland in 2006. This was the Glenfeshie state in the Cairnmorgans. According to the BBC, he paid £8 million (around $10 million in conversion rates of September 2019) for the estate, which includes the Glenfeshie Lodge. He has continued to increase the amount of land he owns in Scotland. Since his initial purchase, he has bought the Kinloch Lodge estate, the Ben Loyal estate, the Fort William estate, The Gaick Estate, the Buccleuch Estates, and the Eriboll estate. Furthermore, he went on to buy Aldourie Castle on the banks of Loch Ness in 2014. He now owns more than one percent of the land in Scotland, and this makes him the largest private landowner in the United Kingdom.

18. He Started a Re-Wilding Project

When Povlsen bought his Scottish estate, he and his wife Anne developed a plan that they called ‘The Re-Wilding Project’.They aimed to return the Scottish lands to their natural state. They want to restore the natural rivers, peatlands, wetlands, and woodlands. They also want to restore native Scottish wildlife that is threatened, such as red squirrels, wildcats, and golden eagles. It is estimated that the project will take at least 200 years to complete.

19. He Had Planned to Pass His Estates on to His Children

Just days before the deaths of three of his children, Povlsen had been in talks to hand over his Scottish estates to them. With only one child remaining, it is unclear if he still intends to pass on the estates with Astrid being the sole recipient. Anne and Anders also planned that their children would continue with ‘The Re-Wilding Project’ as the time it will take to complete will extend beyond their lifetime. They want the generations of people who visit the estate in the coming centuries to truly experience Scottish nature.

20. Povlsen Does Not Flaunt His Wealth

Despite being the richest man in Denmark, one of the wealthiest men in the world, and the largest landowner in the United Kingdom, Povlsen does not flaunt his wealth. Some of his employees have said that if you saw him on the street, he just looks like a regular man and you wouldn’t guess that he is so rich. The Herald Scotland says that Anders once said to one of his employees that he had everything he needed and a nice watch, so why would he anything else. When the employee looked at Anders’ wrist, he noticed he was wearing an inexpensive Citizen watch. At the time, Anders was also driving a VW Golf rather than a luxurious car. However, he has since upgraded to a Tesla electric car as he is concerned about the environment.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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