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Gates dethroned as world's richest

Agencies | April 05, 2004 12:59 IST
Last Updated: April 05, 2004 14:16 IST

Ingvar Kamprad. Photo / AFP Ingvar Kamprad, founder of the Swedish furniture giant IKEA has surpassed Microsoft Corp's Bill Gates as the world's richest man.

According to the upcoming issue of Swedish business weekly Veckans Affarer Kamprad's wealth stands at 400 billion kronor ($53 Billion), while Forbes magazine put Gates' fortune at $40.7 billion.

In 1943, when Kamprad was 17, his father gave him a gift for succeeding in his studies. Kamprad used the gift to establish his own business. The name IKEA was formed from the founder's initials (I.K.) plus the first letters of Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd, the farm and village where he grew up. IKEA originally sold pens, wallets, picture frames, table runners, watches, jewellery and nylon stockings.

In 1947, furniture was introduced into the IKEA product range. Today, IKEA has a network of over 180 stores in 30 countries on four continents.

Kamprad, 77, who now lives in Switzerland no longer participates in the daily management of IKEA.

Media reports said the dollar's slide against other currencies is the main reason Kamprad has overtaken Gates.

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