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Swedish billionaire 'buys all his clothes at flea markets'

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Swedish billionaire 'buys all his clothes at flea markets'
Ingvar Kamprad with his assistant Eva Lundell Fragniere. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
16:05 CET+01:00
He may be the founder of Ikea. But frugal billionaire Ingvar Kamprad has revealed he buys his clothes at flea markets to save money, in a documentary being broadcast on Swedish television.

Kamprad, who turns 90 on March 30th, already has a reputation for penny-pinching, which he claims helped Ikea to become one of the world's top brand names.

“I don't think I'm wearing anything that wasn't bought at a flea market. It means that I want to set a good example,” he told Swedish channel TV4, according to business daily Dagens Industri which viewed the documentary ahead of its release on Wednesday evening.

“It's in the nature of Småland to be thrifty,” he said, referring to Sweden's south-eastern agricultural region where he comes from and where he first started his now global furniture empire.

READ ALSO: Ikea town goes nuts over Kanye West visit

Kamprad is estimated to have an accumulated fortune of about 610 billion kronor ($72 billion), according to recent Swedish media reports. But it is difficult to separate what belongs to him, his children and what is held in a family foundation in one of Europe's most infamous tax havens, Liechtenstein.

In 2006, the American business magazine Forbes listed him as the fourth richest person in the world. However, he dropped off the list this year,with his sons instead claiming the 1,694th spot.

Kamprad's modest spending habits have made headlines over the years. In 2008, he told newspaper Sydsvenskan that a 22-euro bill in the Netherlands had broken his barbering budget.

“Normally, I try to get my haircut when I'm in a developing country. Last time it was in Vietnam,” he explained at the time.

In 1973, Kamprad fled Sweden's higher tax structure for Denmark, before seeking even lower taxes in Switzerland.

From 2010 onward, he progressively retired from the family company to make way for his three sons, finally returning to live in Sweden in 2014.

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