Thursday, April 2

Top 10 Europe's richest person 2009

Ingvar Kamprad and family

Sweden, Net Worth: $22 billion01_ingvar-kamprad Opened first Ikea store 50 years ago; store's name is a combination of initials of his first and last name, his family farm and the nearest village. Retired in 1986; company's "senior adviser" still reportedly works tirelessly on his brand. Revenues up 7% to $27.4 billion in fiscal year 2008. Three sons all work at the company.

Karl Albrecht

Germany, Net Worth: $21.5 billion2 karl6 Germany's richest person owns discount supermarket giant Aldi Süd. Retailer faring well; analysts expect its 2008 sales to be up 9.4% to $33.7 billion. Plans to open 75 U.S. stores in 2009, including first in New York City. With younger brother Theo, transformed their mother's corner grocery store into Aldi after World War II. Brothers split ownership in 1961; Karl took the stores in southern Germany, plus the rights to the brand in the U.K., Australia and the U.S. Theo got northern Germany and the rest of Europe

Theo Albrecht

Germany, Net Worth: $18.8 billion Theo-Albrecht

Runs discount supermarket group Aldi Nord; sales expected to hit $31 billion in 2008. After World War II, he and older brother Karl transformed their mother's corner grocery into Aldi. Brothers split ownership in 1961; Karl took the stores in southern Germany, plus the rights to the brand in the U.K., Australia and the U.S. Theo got the northern Germany stores and the rest of Europe. Unable to operate Aldi stores in U.S., Theo developed discount food store Trader Joe's; now has more than 320 U.S. stores.

Amancio Ortega

Spain, Net Worth: $18.3 billion04_amancio-ortega With then-wife Rosalia Mera, also now a billionaire, started making dressing gowns and lingerie in their living room. Business became one of world's most successful apparel manufacturers. Today, Inditex has more than 4,000 stores in 71 countries. Sales: $12.3 billion. Ortega is chairman. Company exported its cheap chic Zara stores to four new markets last year: Ukraine, South Korea, Montenegro and Honduras.

Bernard Arnault

France, Net Worth: $16.5 billion05_bernard-arnault France's richest man lost $9 billion in the past year as shares of his $22 billion (sales) luxury goods group, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, dropped 29%. Sailing into new waters: bought Princess Yachts, one of Britain's oldest luxury motorboat manufacturers, last summer; picked up yacht builder Royal van Lent soon after. Via his investment arm, Groupe Arnault, owns French tour operator Go Voyages and has a stake in French retailer Carrefour.

Stefan Persson

Sweden, Net Worth: $14.5 billion06_stefan-persson Heads cheap chic fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz; H&M known for bringing in big names like Madonna, Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Kylie Minogue to design affordable collections for its 1,700 stores. Opened first store in Japan last fall. Business holding up so far amid economic downturn; sales, profits up 13% each in 2008. Stock up 3% in past year but fortune dragged down by weak euro.

Liliane Bettencourt

France, Net Worth: $13.4 billion07_liliane-bettencourt Europe's richest woman and L'Oreal's biggest shareholder is embroiled in a sensational scandal. Only daughter and heir, Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, petitioned courts to investigate reported $1 billion worth of cash and gifts her mother allegedly gave to François-Marie Banier, 61, a well-known photographer, writer and painter whom she befriended. Daughter claims Banier took advantage of her mother, who became a widow in November 2007. Liliane denies it; mother and daughter apparently no longer speak. Case now in court.

Michael Otto and family

Germany, Net Worth: $13.2 billion08_michael-otto

Otto family's shopping center outfit. ECE Group. is taking advantage of weak markets to make inroads in America; recently agreed to buy stake in struggling U.S. mall giant Developers Diversified Realty. Already owns most of Crate & Barrel. Family's Paramount Group bought Deutsche Bank's Wall Street headquarters in 2007; reportedly paid a record price per square foot for lower Manhattan. Michael retired that same year after 26 years as chief executive; still heads supervisory board of $14.8 billion (sales) Otto Group.

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor and family

United Kingdom, Net Worth: $11 billion09_gerald-cavendish-grosvenor

The sixth Duke of Westminster is the U.K.'s wealthiest landowner. His Grosvenor property group has valuable holdings in the posh Mayfair and Belgravia neighborhoods of London where rents have fallen almost a third since last spring. Group recently entered into negotiations with banks to refinance debt of its troubled retail arm.

Susanne Klatten

Germany,Net Worth: $10 billionDV438382

Despite her well-guarded privacy, got caught up in salacious scandal: the married BMW heiress claimed publicly that an ex-lover whom she'd met at a hotel bar had blackmailed her for millions. She turned in the man, who had apparently videotaped the escapades with a partner; he was apparently sentenced to six years in prison in early March. Inherited stake in automaker BMW from late father Herbert Quandt; also got a 50% stake in pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturer Altana.

Top 10 Europe's billionaires 2009

Top 10 richest people in the Europe 2009

top 10 wealthiest Europeans 2009


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