The founder of Ikea, one of the richest men in the world, passed away recently. His plans for what will happen to his family business are unusual.
Most of the time people who appear on lists of the richest people in the world are happy to be on the lists. They sometimes have been known to argue that their wealth has been underestimated and they should be higher on the list than they are.
However, Ingvar Kamprad was unusual.
He is best known for founding the iconic furniture company Ikea. Many might have a bad memory about his company from frustrating attempts at trying to put the furniture together, but Kamprad’s family might have different complaints.
He recently passed away at the age of 91. It appears that his family will inherit none of the company, as Bloomberg reports in “What’s Going to Happen to Ikea Founder’s Billions.”
Kamprad always argued that he should not have been considered one of the wealthiest people in the world, because he was not the true owner of Ikea. He structured ownership of the company through a complex series of holding companies. It is not clear that he was the ultimate beneficiary.
He did this specifically, so his family would not gain control of the company after he passed away. The reason? Kamprad did not trust his family to continue Ikea’s charitable missions. As a result, his family will not inherit the company and the billions that it is worth.
Most family business owners want their families to inherit their businesses. Nevertheless, as Kamprad’s decision shows, there are other options when founders do not think that is a good idea.
Reference: Bloomberg (Jan. 31, 2018) “What’s Going to Happen to Ikea Founder’s Billions.”