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Anders Holch Povlsen: Asos investor loses 3 children in Sri Lanka attacks

CNN logo CNN 4/22/2019 By Ivana Kottasová and Nada Bashir, CNN Business
Anders Holch Povlsen wearing a suit and tie: The Danish entrepreneur, Anders Holch Povlsen, seen during a 2017 event. © Tariq Mikkel Khan/AFP/Getty Images The Danish entrepreneur, Anders Holch Povlsen, seen during a 2017 event.

Three children of retail billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen were killed in the attacks in Sri Lanka on Sunday, according to a spokesperson for his company.

The Danish entrepreneur owns clothing company Bestseller, which is the biggest shareholder in British fashion retailer Asos with a stake of over 26%. He also owns a 10% stake in German online retailer Zalando.

"We can confirm that Anders lost three children in the attack," Jesper Stubkier, Bestseller's communication manager, told CNN.

Stubkier declined to comment further, citing the need "to respect the privacy of the family." Holch Povlsen and his wife, Anne, have four children, according to Danish media.

At least 290 people died in the wave of bombings across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. At least 39 of those killed were visitors from countries including Turkey, India, the United Kingdom and Australia.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks. A government minister described the coordinated bombings as a "brand new type of terrorism," after a decade of relative calm in Sri Lanka.

Related video: Official: Memo warning of an attack was ignored (CNN)


Danish media reported that Holch Povlsen was in Sri Lanka with his family on vacation.

Holch Povlsen is worth $5.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That makes him the 304th richest person in the world.

Bestseller has 2,700 stores in 70 countries and reported sales of €3.3 billion ($3.7 billion) in the financial year ended 2018. The company has 17,000 employees and its brands include Vero Moda and Jack&Jones.

Holch Povlsen also owns a 50% stake in Bestseller Fashion Group China, an independent company that has more than 7,000 stores in the country.

He has been a member of Zalando's supervisory board since 2013.

The billionaire's interests go beyond fashion and retail. He and Anne are among the biggest private landowners in Scotland.

In 2007, the couple founded Wildland, a conservation and sustainable development company through which they've invested in a number of properties.

The couple say on their website that they want to restore the Scottish Highlands "to their former magnificent natural state and repair the harm that man has inflicted on them."

The couple has already restored a number of properties, and they planned to rehabilitate others while protecting archaeologically important structures found on their land.

According to the Wildland website, they have also acquired vast mountain areas in Romania to protect them from exploitation such as logging, resource extraction and urbanization.


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