The 5 richest Europeans

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The 5 richest Europeans

Post  loose on Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:29 pm

1. Ingvar Kamprad and family

Net worth: $31 billion
Citizenship: Sweden

Kamprad peddled matches, fish, pens, Christmas cards and other items
by bicycle as a teenager. He started selling furniture in 1947. His
company Ikea, which sells hip designs for the cost-conscious, is now
one of the most beloved retailers in the world, with an almost
cult-like following. Ikea now has stores in 40 countries, from Sunrise,
Fla., in the U.S. to Guangzhou in China. As egalitarian as his brand,
Kamprad avoids wearing suits, flies economy class and frequents cheap
restaurants, but he has been quoted as saying his luxuries are the
occasional nice cravat and Swedish fish roe. He says his home is
furnished mostly with his own Ikea products. Last May, he was awarded
the Global Economy Prize by the University of Kiel for his
contributions to society.

2. Oleg Deripaska

Net worth: $28 billion
Citizenship: Russia

The former metals trader survived the gangster wars in the
post-Soviet aluminum industry. His holding company, Basic Element, now
owns Russian Aluminum (United Company Rusal), automobile manufacturer
GAZ, aircraft manufacturer Aviacor and insurance company Ingosstrakh.

3. Karl Albrecht


Net worth: $27 billion
Citizenship: Germany

Germany's richest man. After World War II, Karl and his younger brother, Theo, developed their mother's corner grocery store intodiscount supermarket giant Aldi, which now has more than 8,000 stores and $67 billion in sales. They eventually split ownership and management of the chain into North and South regions. Now retired, Karl used to manage the more profitable southern half of Aldi's business in Germany. Fiercely private: Little is known about him other than he apparently raises orchids and plays golf.

4. Bernard Arnault


Net worth: $25.5 billion
Citizenship: France

Arnault put up $15 million from his family's mid-size construction
company to buy Christian Dior in 1985. Since then he has built the
world's largest luxury goods empire, LVMH Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton,
whose brands also include Dom Perignon, Fendi and Tag Heuer. LVMH,
which he still heads, acquired premier French financial daily Les Echos
from the Pearson group last December. Son Antoine, 28, and daughter,
Delphine, 32, sit on LVMH's board. Arnault has also set up an
investment fund with his good friend and fellow billionaire, Albert
Frere, in 2006; the pair own two wineries together. Via his investment
arm, Groupe Arnault, he owns French tour operator Go Voyages and a
stake in French retail chain Carrefour. He often spends New Year's Eve
in his four-star hotel, Le Cheval Blanc, in ski resort Courchevel,
France, and is said to be a skilled pianist.

5. Roman Abramovich

Net worth: $23.5 billion
Citizenship: Russia

Orphaned as a child, Abramovich dropped out of college and then made
a fortune in a series of controversial oil export deals in early 1990s.
His fortune took off in 1995 when he teamed up with Boris Berezovsky
(now also a billionaire) to take over oil giant Sibneft at a fraction
of its market value. (When Berezovsky fled Russia in 2000 to escape
fraud charges, he sold out to Abramovich.) In 2003 to 2004 he sold his
stake in Russian Aluminum to fellow billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who is
now ranked 9th in the world. In 2005, he liquidated his biggest asset,
selling 72.6% stake in Sibneft to gas titan Gazprom for $13 billion. In
2006 he bought stake in country's largest steelmaker, Evraz Group, and
early in 2008, a piece of Highland Gold, a U.K. mining company with
operations in Russia. He bought U.K. soccer club Chelsea. Abramovich
recently finalized a divorce from the mother of his five children but
largely stays out of public eye, except for occasional spottings with
rumored girlfriend Daria Zhukova.

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Source: www.forbes.com

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