Ikea founder Kamprad suffers broken hip

Ikea founder Kamprad suffers broken hip
Photo: Thord Nilsson / TT file picture
Ninety-year-old Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad has suffered from a broken hip, which temporarily resulted in him being hospitalised, but is now in good recovery, his assistant said on Sunday. He may have to skip the traditional Ikea Christmas celebrations in his native Älmhult though.

There were, however, few details available as news about the billionaire’s health emerged in Swedish media on Sunday. In an email to Swedish tabloid Kvällsposten, Kamprad’s assistant Eva Lundell Fragnière confirmed his stint in hospital, but did not specify when he had sustained the injury, or when, or for how long, he had been in hospital.

“We can confirm that Ingvar Kamprad was admitted to hospital a while back after having broken his hip,” she wrote, adding “Ingvar has been home for a while now, he’s well and is up and about again”.

It is still unclear whether he will be able to participate in the annual Ikea Christmas celebrations in Älmhult, a village in southern Sweden and where the global flatpack furniture giant was once started up. According to Kvällsposten, Kamprad has attended the celebrations – which usually take place around December 20 – a total of 61 times. Some 1,700 Ikea staff take part, and Kamprad, who in 2014 showed up dressed as Santa Claus, usually holds a Christmas speech.

During last year’s speech, however, Kamprad – who turned 90 in March this year – admitted feeling his age, saying he had been ill for a few months. In 2011 he underwent heart surgery in Switzerland and last year he was briefly admitted to hospital in Bulgaria where he underwent a check-up.

Even though “the father of Ikea” may not show at the upcoming party in Älmhult, the staff will still have plenty of reason to celebrate since Kamprad recently announced he was donating 1 billion kronor for them to share as a Christmas bonus.

In the beginning of 2016, the Ikea founder handed over the chairmanship role at the Kamprad family fund to Katarina Olsson, but he remains active as a board member.