Anders Holch increases his fortune by 89 billion: ‘I doubt I have seen such a big increase before’

When the corona shutdown hit, he was so concerned about his business that he immediately resorted to layoffs and other drastic measures.

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But the Jutland merchants can do something with money. And so can Bestseller owner Anders Holch Povlsen. He has managed to ride out the storm while increasing his fortune astronomically.

As much as 89 billion, Holch Povlsen’s business empire has increased its total value with the past year, shows the latest list of Denmark’s 100 richest.

The list is published by Economic Weekly. And it is Ejlif Thomasen, an accountant-trained journalist, who is behind the drafting.

Anders Holch Povlsen together with Lars Fournais, who is chairman of the board of AGF.

Anders Holch Povlsen together with Lars Fournais, who is chairman of the board of AGF.
Photo: Henning Bagger

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“I doubt I’ve seen such a big increase before,” says Thomasen, who has been making the list for 25 years.

He points to three reasons why 49-year-old Anders Holch Povlsen has done so well that his fortune is now estimated at 134.6 billion kroner, which is enough for a 2nd place on the list – only surpassed by the Lego family Kirk Kristiansen , which has a fortune valued at DKK 322.5 billion.

“Bestseller has had a canon account, and then he has large investments in Klarna (a Swedish payment comet) and Zalando, and they all pull in the same direction,” he says and adds:

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“He had a setback in the first place when the corona hit, but it has gone extremely well in 2021.”

Anders Holch Povlsen with his wife, Anne Storm Holch Povlsen.

Anders Holch Povlsen with his wife, Anne Storm Holch Povlsen.
Photo: Jeppe Michael Jensen

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Anders Holch Povlsen took over the Bestseller empire from his parents, after he had shown interest in the clothing company since childhood, which was started as a dress shop in Ringkøbing in 1975.

While his little brother, Niels Holch Povlsen, pursued an IT career and moved to England, big brother chose to follow in his parents’ footsteps. And unlike many other heirs who take over the family life works and disappoint badly, he has to that extent been able to live up to expectations.

The fortune has grown and grown, as the Bestseller empire has expanded with businesses all over the world. One dress store has since grown to over 2,700 stores in 38 countries.

In addition, he has invested far and wide. He owns shares worth more than DKK 250 million in the online clothing portal Zalando alone. In addition, he owns large parts of nemlig.com, Normal, Matas and several others.

Aldourie Castle in Scotland is one of the many possessions that the rich man from Aarhus owns in the highlands.

Aldourie Castle in Scotland is one of the many possessions that the rich man from Aarhus owns in the highlands.
Foto: Aldourie Castle

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He has also made a name for himself by buying up so many estates and land in Scotland that the locals call him ‘the King of Scotland’.

When the corona crisis first hit in 2020 with the closure of Bestsellers stores, several hundred million flowed out of the empire daily, and Holch Povlsen immediately fired 750 employees and slammed the box in and postponed rent payments.

»Anders Holch is really good. But he is also cynical, and he must be, because he has a responsibility, “Anders Drejer, then professor of economics at Aalborg University, explained to BT at the time.

Since then, the Aarhus rich man pulled ashore, apologized and still paid the rent.

Anders Holch Povlsen has become much richer in the past year.

Anders Holch Povlsen has become much richer in the past year.
Photo: PR

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However, the corona case was not the only crap case that the rich rich man from Aarhus has experienced.

In the past year, he has had problems with nemlig.com, of which he owns 70 percent. The company smoked out in a scandal case where it was revealed that it treated its drivers horribly.

In addition, he received criticism from the Foreign Minister for collaborating with the military dictatorship in Myanmar, where Bestseller produced a number of clothes.

Anders Holch Povlsen managed reasonably well through the crap cases. After several weeks of deliberation, he stated that he took ‘critique’ of working conditions ‘very seriously’, while also announcing that Bestseller would suspend orders in Myanmar and make further inquiries into the situation.

It also helps on his image that his large investments in huge tracts of land in both Scotland and Romania give him a more green profile.

»He is in many ways the image you want to draw of a businessman, where you want to show an image of someone who cares incredibly much about these things and wants to do a lot of good things. But it is still the bottom line that counts, «Morten Johnsen, editor and co-founder of Inside Business, has previously explained to BT

He added that it is important that Anders Holch Povlsen shows that there is action behind his words when he says that he wants to do a lot of good things and that he takes the criticism he receives seriously.

Anders Holch Povlsen lives privately with his wife, Anne Storm Holch Povlsen, on the estate Constantinsborg west of Aarhus.

The couple experienced a major personal tragedy in 2019 when they lost three of their then four children in a terrorist attack in Sri Lanka.

Since then, the couple has experienced the happiness of becoming parents again. First in 2020 for twin girls, and no later than September 29, when the family could welcome a new son.

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