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Ikea founder passes torch to three sons

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09:45 CEST+02:00
Ingvar Kamprad, the 86-year-old founder of Ikea, has confirmed that the Swedish furniture giant has been handed over to his three sons, with each taking over a third of the company.

The decision that Kamprad's sons would take over in their father's footsteps was revealed through Ikea's staff newsletter Readme, with a company spokesperson explaining that the furniture company will be run in much the same fashion as it is today.

“It's important for Ingvar Kamprad that the next generation will continue to be actively engaged in the Kamprad group's future developments, in the same way that he has been,” said Kamprad's spokesman Per Heggenes in a statement to the Expressen newspaper.

The decision was announced in line with Kamprad's 86th birthday.

“It was a natural point in time for the family to define the three sons' future roles and responsibilities,” Heggenes said.

Kamprad's sons, Jonas, Mathias and Peter, will each take over one of the Ikea's three groups, with the company confident in their ability to take over.

“Ingvar won't be here any longer, leaving comments, and giving support and advice as he usually does,” explained Göran Grosskopf, chair of the Dutch parent company that comprises all of the family-owned Ikea businesses.

“During the years, he has tried to build up a competency in his sons, and here he has been truly wise. I have no concerns that the change in generations will create any problems,” he told the paper.

The founder's sons have maintained a low profile over the years as they slowly moved up through the company, and have rarely spoken out in the media.

In June, speculation that Ingvar Kamprad was preparing his departure from the unlisted group mounted when his three sons posed for a picture for Swedish financial daily Dagens Industri and a company spokesman detailed their individual responsibilities.

Peter, "who turns 48 this year", was described as "the economist" who has taken control over the conglomerate Ikano, the Luxembourg-based company that runs the family's financial, property, insurance, capital management and retail holdings.

Jonas, "who will be 46 this year", is "the creative designer and product developer" who sits on the board of Ingka Holding, Dagens Industri said.

And Mathias, "who turns 43 this year", is described as "the businessman and initiative-taker in the troika" who focuses on Inter Ikea Holding, which owns the Ikea concept and brand.

Ingvar Kamprad founded Ikea in 1943 in his hometown of Älmhult in southern

Sweden.

The Swiss magazine Bilan in June named him Europe's richest man, with an estimated fortune of $37.5 billion including the holdings in the family-owned foundation.

TT/AFP/The Local/og

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