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Swiss-based Ikea tycoon plans Swedish return

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Swiss-based Ikea tycoon plans Swedish return
Ingvar Kamprad. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
21:01 CEST+02:00
Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of budget furniture store Ikea, is leaving his home near Lausanne, Switzerland to return to his native country, Sweden.

“I am returning to live in Sweden to be closer to my family and my old friends,” Kamprad, 87, said in a statement published in the Swedish regional daily Sydsvenskan on Wednesday.

“Since my dear wife Margareta died about a year and a half ago, there are fewer and fewer things to keep me in Switzerland,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Ikea, Joesefine Thorell, confirmed to AFP that Kamprad planned to “spend the rest of his life in Sweden”.

Judged the wealthiest resident of Switzerland and one of the richest people in the world, Kamprad moved in the 1970s to Switzerland, where taxes are considerably lower than in his native country.

The Bloomberg index of the world wealthiest put Kamprad in fifth place last year.

His fortune was estimated by Swiss magazine Bilan at between 38 and 39 billion francs.  

However, to all outward appearances he lives modestly in a villa in Epalinges, a community north of Lausanne in the canton of Vaud.

Another Ikea official suggested he will face higher taxes in his homeland.

"Ingvar will pay tax on his income, just like everyone else in Sweden," Kamprad’s spokesperson Per Heggenes told the Sydsvenskan newspaper.

"But the move has no other tax consequences."

Kamprad, who founded Ikea in 1943 as a teenager, is planning to move to his homeland before the end of the year.

Per Heggenes, head of the Ikea foundation, told Sydsvenskan that the entrepreneur will be returning to the place where he started the store that has become a global phenomenon, the town of Älmhult, in southern Sweden.

His youngest son, Mathias Kamprad, recently took over as chairman of mother company Inter Ikea Group.

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