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Ikea founder to move home to Sweden

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Ikea founder to move home to Sweden
18:12 CEST+02:00
Flat-pack tsar Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Swedish budget furniture store Ikea, is set to move home to Sweden, where the world's fifth richest person will be taxed accordingly.

"I'm moving back to Sweden to be closer to my family and old friends," the retired entrepreneur told Swedish daily Sydsvenskan in a message relayed by his spokesman Per Heggenes.

"Since my dear wife Margareta died about one and a half years ago, there is less and less keeping me in Switzerland," he said.

Once he returns to Sweden, Kamprad will pay Swedish taxes again - a hot topic ever since he moved from his homeland.

"Ingvar will pay tax on his income, just like everyone else in Sweden," Heggenes told the paper.

"But the move has no other tax consequences."

Kamprad, 87, who set up the budget shop in the forties before the success of its affordable flatpack wares went viral across the globe, is planning to move home before the end of the year. He currently resides in Switzerland.

He is likely to return to southern Sweden and the town of Älmhult after spending the past four decades abroad.

Ikea spokeswoman Josefine Thorell confirmed the news to AFP, saying Kamprad had always planned "to spend the rest of his life in Sweden" and that he hoped to move "before the end of the year".

Since his move to Switzerland in the 1970s, Kamprad has led a quiet life in the village of Epalinges, near Lausanne.

His habit of driving an old Volvo to the supermarket and taking advantage of discounts with a customer loyalty card has earned him a Swedish media reputation of being almost stingy.

But although, Kamprad is in the midst of preparing his retirement, he will not totally give up his day job.

Upon his resignation from Inter Ikea, he said he would continue to spend time in Ikea stores and factories, and remain on the supervisory board of the Liechtenstein-based Interogo Foundation, which owns the Inter Ikea Group.

The Bloomberg index of the world's wealthiest people put Kamprad in fifth place last month. His youngest son, Mathias Kamprad, recently took over as chairman of mother company Inter Ikea Group.

TT/AFP/The Local/at

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