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Zara Founder, Amancio Ortega now World’s Richest Man, He’s worth $79.5 BILLION, Unseats Bill Gates

 

  • Tycoon Amancio Ortega’s personal fortune leapt to $79.5billion this week
  • Total tops net worth of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates who has $78.5billion
  • Comes after shares in Zara parent company Inditex went up 2.5 per cent
  • His daughter, Marta, is expected to take over management of the business 

 

Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of the Zara fashion chain, has overtaken Bill Gates to become the world's richest man. He is pictured with his daughter, Marta
Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of the Zara fashion chain, has overtaken Bill Gates to become the world’s richest man. He is pictured with his daughter, Marta

The Spanish founder of the Zara fashion chain has overtaken Bill Gates to become the world’s richest man.

Amancio Ortega’s personal fortune leapt by $1.7billion this week to $79.5billion – taking the Inditex owner past the Microsoft co-founder’s estimated $78.5billion.

Already Europe’s richest man, the 80-year-old – whose glamorous daughter Marta is expected to take over management of the business – now tops the global list.

 Ortega's personal fortune leapt by $1.7billion this week to $79.5billion - taking the entrepreneur past the Microsoft co-founder's estimated $78.5billion
Ortega’s personal fortune leapt by $1.7billion this week to $79.5billion – taking the entrepreneur past the Microsoft co-founder’s estimated $78.5billion

 

Marta Ortega has undergone training at the firm, including stacking shelves when she was younger

However, the company will not confirm Marta as her father's successor

Marta Ortega has undergone training at the firm, including stacking shelves when she was younger

Ortega - whose firm Inditex is the parent company to Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear - is seen relaxing on his yacht

Ortega – whose firm Inditex is the parent company to Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear – is seen relaxing on his yacht

Ortega, pictured at a horse riding competition in Casas Novas, now has as a larger net worth than US investor Warren Buffet

Ortega, pictured at a horse riding competition in Casas Novas, now has as a larger net worth than US investor Warren Buffet

Marta, 31, has undergone training at the firm, including stacking shelves when she was younger.

Despite rumours that she is due to succeed her father, Inditex – parent company to Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear – will not confirm her as successor.

Forbes reported that Ortega became the world’s richest man on Wednesday when Inditex shares went up 2.5 per cent.

He now has a larger net worth than US investor Warren Buffett and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

 

It is not the first time Ortega has topped the list. He was briefly ahead of Bill Gates in October before a surge in Microsoft shares put him back in second place.

The son of a railway worker from La Coruna in Spain, Ortega transformed clothing group Inditex from a tiny family dressmaker into Spain’s biggest company.

He has turned Zara into a byword in chic for the money-conscious, transforming the apparel business with its’fast fashion’ model.

Affordable imitations of catwalk designscan move from drawing board to store within two weeks, and poor sellers are pulled off the shop floor even quicker.

Marta Ortega, a keen horse-rider, is pictured with her father at an equestrian festival in Spain

Marta Ortega, a keen horse-rider, is pictured with her father at an equestrian festival in Spain

Marta rides her horse Zigali at the 30th Edition of the CSI Casas Novas Horse Jumping Contest in La Coruna, Galicia

Marta rides her horse Zigali at the 30th Edition of the CSI Casas Novas Horse Jumping Contest in La Coruna, Galicia

Ortega  became the world's richest man on Wednesday when shares of Inditex went up 2.5 per cent

Ortega became the world’s richest man on Wednesday when shares of Inditex went up 2.5 per cent

The Ortegas pictured at the  in Monte Carlo, Monaco, as part of the Global Champion Tour 2012

The Ortegas pictured at a horse-riding event in Monte Carlo, Monaco, as part of the Global Champion Tour 2012

 Ortega never gives interviews and is rarely photographed. He did not even attend the inaugural ringing of the stock market bell at the Madrid exchange when Inditex floated in 2001

 Ortega never gives interviews and is rarely photographed. He did not even attend the inaugural ringing of the stock market bell at the Madrid exchange when Inditex floated in 2001

Ortega holds a 59.3 percent stake in what is now the world's biggest fashion retailer, ahead of Gap and Hennes & Mauritz

Ortega holds a 59.3 percent stake in what is now the world’s biggest fashion retailer, ahead of Gap and Hennes & Mauritz

The Spanish company owned by Ortega, which alongside Zara also owns the brands Bershka, Pull & Bear, and Massimo Dutti, has quietly become the world’s largest fashion retailer

The Spanish company owned by Ortega, which alongside Zara also owns the brands Bershka, Pull & Bear, and Massimo Dutti, has quietly become the world’s largest fashion retailer

It is not the first time Ortega has topped the list. He was briefly ahead of Bill Gates in October before a surge in Microsoft shares put him back in second place

Last year, his sales blossomed asInditex shares rose nearly 40 per cent.

He holds a 59.3 percent stake in what is now the world’sbiggest fashion retailer, ahead of Gap and Hennes &Mauritz.

It grew from humble beginnings in the rainynorthern region of Galicia to more than 6,000 stores in some 90countries with a stable of brands from high-end label MassimoDutti to homewear chain Zara Home.

The group is only the third Spanish firm ever to be valued above100 billion euros, after bank Santander and telecomsgiant Telefonica, both of which now lag well behind.

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In a country recently emerged from a recession thatdestroyed businesses and jobs, Ortega is a rare self-made mogul.

The son of a railway worker started his professional life at14 as a delivery boy with a shirtmaker in the wind-sweptnorthern city of Coruna.

Ortega has turned Zara (file picture) into a byword in chic for the money-conscious, transforming the apparel business with its 'fast fashion' model

Ortega founded fast-fashion giant Zara with his then-wife Rosalia in 1975

He is seen leaving a building in Arteixo, near Coruna, in 2004

Ortega founded fast-fashion giant Zara with his then-wife Rosalia in 1975

Zara was founded in 1975 and has become one of the most popular clothing and accessories retailers in the world

Zara was founded in 1975 and has become one of the most popular clothing and accessories retailers in the world

2012: Warren Buffett & Bill Gates play ping-pong with Olympians

Within a few years he had set up aworkshop making nightgowns, lingerie and babywear, and the firstZara opened in Spain in 1975.

Ortega never gives interviews and is rarely photographed. Hedid not even attend the inaugural ringing of the stock marketbell at the Madrid exchange when Inditex floated in 2001.

In person, Ortega is a persuasive and enthusiastic businessman, who despite progressively handing over the day-to-day management of the company over the last decade continues as an active part of it, people familiar with Inditex say.

He is known for selecting designs based on feedback fromshop assistants who zero in on shoppers’ reactions.

‘If he speaks to a shop assistant and he likes what they hadto say, he will pay more attention to that than to any of hismanagers,’ a former Inditex director told Reuters.

Since his ex-wife and Inditex co-founder Rosalia Mera diedsuddenly in August 2013, there has been intense speculation overthe succession.

His second wife Flora Perez, 61, sits on the board.

Ortega's real estate empire, worth as much as $10 billion. His first big real estate purchase was Torre Picasso, an office building in Madrid, bought in 2011

Ortega’s real estate empire, worth as much as $10 billion. His first big real estate purchase was Torre Picasso, an office building in Madrid, bought in 2011

 

This was around the time he handed the daily running of the world's biggest clothing retailer to chief executive officer Pablo Isla

This was around the time he handed the daily running of the world’s biggest clothing retailer to chief executive officer Pablo Isla

 

Pazo de Dodro, a farm and estate owned by Ortega, which was the venue for the wedding of his daughter, Marta

Pazo de Dodro, a farm and estate owned by Ortega, which was the venue for the wedding of his daughter, Marta

Ortega’s majority stake in Inditex is held through another company, Pontegadea Inversiones, which Ortega has also used to channel the steady flow of dividends and build up a real estate portfolio with assets worth 8 billion euros at end-2014. 

This, as well as favourable inheritance laws in the Galicianregion, means that his heirs are likely to keep a tight controlover the fashion empire.

In July it was reported that Ortega’s real estate assets in 2015 topped 6billion euros alone.

Using massive dividend payouts from Inditex, which have nearly doubled over the last five years, Ortega has made largely debt-free purchases of prime buildings from London to New York, becoming a major commercial real estate player over that period.

‘All the buildings he buys are in prime districts. It’s a steady, reliable income stream, almost like a sovereign bond,’ said Carles Vergara, finance professor at IESE Business School.

Ortega’s first big real estate purchase was Torre Picasso, an office building in Madrid, bought in 2011 around the time he handed the daily running of the world’s biggest clothing retailer to chief executive officer Pablo Isla.

Amancio Ortega's personal fortune leapt by $1.7billion this week to $79.5billion - taking the entrepreneur past Bill Gates' estimated $78.5billion 

The Spanish founder of the Zara fashion chain is also ahead of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos 

The Spanish founder of the Zara fashion chain is also ahead of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

Since then he has bought properties including an office block in London’s Mayfair; a stretch of London’s prime shopping drag Oxford Street; and the historic cast-iron clad E.V. Haughwout Building in SoHo, New York, which housed a world- famous cut glass and porcelain store in the 19th century and featured the world’s first passenger elevator.

Ortega not only rents out his commercial property to Inditex stores like Zara and upmarket label Massimo Dutti at market rates, but also to rivals such as H&M of Sweden and Gap of the United States.

In Madrid, he owns No. 32 on the Spanish capital’s main shopping drag Gran Via. The Art Deco building, built as one of the city’s first grand-scale department stores in the 1920s, now houses biggest store in Spain for arch-rival Primark.

In February, Ortega made his first foray into Asia, buying a 22-storey plaza in Myeongdong, Seoul’s trendy shopping district.

Credit: DailyMailUK

 

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Written by How Africa

One Comment

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  1. I wish to contact Mr. Amancio Ortega Gaona, Founder of Inditex to discuss valuable business ideas and to introduce a dress item in World market which Inditex are not making. Kindly inform the email address of Amancio Oertega Gaona. I have been contacted number of times requested to The Company for Amancio’s email address. So far not yet received any reply.

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