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#367 Troels Holch Povlsen $4.91B

Random fact: Eldest son, Anders, is one of Scotland's biggest landowners.


Holch Povlsen is the founder of Bestseller, a Brande, Denmark-based retailer that sells clothing under the Jack & Jones and Vero Moda labels. The closely held company had revenue of 3.1 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in its fiscal year ended July 2016, and owns half of a Chinese joint venture that has more than 6,800 stores.

As of July 27, 2017:
Last change +$28.5M (+0.6%)
YTD change +$427M (+9.5%)
Industry Consumer
Biggest asset Bestseller AS
Citizenship Denmark
Age 64
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Troels Holch Povlsen's net worth of $4.91B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Holch Povlsen's fortune is derived from retailer Bestseller, which he co-founded with his wife, Merete, in 1975, and controls through Brande, Denmark-based holding company Aktieselskabet af 1.8.2000. The company's shares are held by his eldest son, Anders, who became Bestseller's chief executive officer in 2001. The billionaire is a Bestseller board member, along with his youngest son, Finn, and his wife serves as chairman.

The fortune is credited to Holch Povlsen because he's the company's co-founder and family patriarch. The company reports revenue, income and store numbers on its website. It reported sales of 3.1 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in the year to July 2016 and is valued using the average enterprise value-to-sales, enterprise value-to-Ebitda and price-to-earnings multiples of three public peers: IC Group, American Eagle and Gap.

Bestseller controls a 50 percent stake in Chinese retailer Bestseller Fashion Group Co. The Tianjin, China-based company doesn't release financial information. Revenue is derived from its share of the Chinese apparel and footwear market in 2016, compiled by researcher Euromonitor. It's valued using the average enterprise value-to-sales multiple of two public peer companies: Bosideng and Shanghai Metersbonwe Fashion and Accessories Co.

The billionaire has a 29 percent stake in publicly traded online retailer Asos, which he's been accumulating since 2010 and controls through Aktieselskabet af 5.5.2010, according to Orbis, a database published by Bureau Van Dijk. The cost of share purchases are included as a liability.

Holch Povlsen owns real estate in Denmark and the U.K., which is included in the valuation because he holds them directly.

A stake in German online clothing retailer Zalando, as well as additional real estate holdings in Scotland, aren't included because they're held by his son, Anders.

Mogens Werge, a spokesman for Bestseller, said Holch Povlsen declined to comment on his net worth.


Birthdate: 9/9/1949
Family: Married, 2 children

Troels Holch Povlsen was born on Sept. 9, 1949, in Risskov, Denmark. He began selling carpets in the nearby city of Aarhus, before starting to sell dresses produced at his uncle's textile factory in Ringkobing on the west coast of Denmark.

He had bought his own shop in the town by 1974, and a year later founded Bestseller with his wife, Merete Bech, in Brande, focusing the business on women's fashion. Children's clothing was introduced in 1986, and menswear two years later. The company agreed to establish a Chinese joint venture, Tianjin-based Bestseller Group in 1996, which operated 6,000-stores in the country by 2012.

Povlsen is married and has two sons, Finn and Anders, who became Bestseller's chief executive officer in 2001 and is one of Scotland's largest landowners.

  • 1949 Troels Holch Povlsen is born in Risskov, Denmark.
  • 1975 Holch Povlsen and his wife, Merete Bech, start Bestseller.
  • 1986 Introduces childrenswear to product lines. Menswear follows two years later.
  • 1996 Bestseller starts a joint venture in China. It had 6,000 stores by 2012.
  • 2001 Son, Anders, takes control of family shares and becomes Bestseller CEO.
  • 2003 Buys Cokenach estate in Hertfordshire, England.
  • 2009 Retires as chairman of Bestseller. Wife becomes chairman.
  • 2010 Family begins investing in online retailer Asos.