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H&M owner Stefan Persson of Sweden is the eighth richest person in the world, according to the 2012 Forbes Billionaire List.
In total there are ten Swedes on the list, which this year includes a total of 1,226 billionaires from 58 countries. Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim was the world's richest man for a third year running, followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investment tycoon Warren Buffett.
The magazine valued 64-year-old Stefan Persson at a net worth of $26 billion. Last year he was ranked at number 13.
"Stefan Persson's cheap-chic apparel chain H&M added Versace and Marni to its stable of designers last year and opened its first stores in Croatia, Singapore and Romania. It now has 2,500 shops in 43 countries. Persson, who is chairman, bought 5 million additional shares of the company and then gifted 4 million, worth $150 million, to a new employee incentive program.
"Persson's father, Erling, founded H&M in 1947; Stefan took over in 1982, he gave up the chief executive position in 1998; promoted son, Karl-Johan, 35, to chief executive in July 2009.
"Persson acquired the 21-cottage village of Linkenholt in Hampshire, England in 2009. He is a founder of the Mentor Foundation, a nonprofit that combats substance abuse among youth.
"Persson enjoys downhill skiing, tennis and golf".
Top billionaires worldwide by rank in net worth
• Carlos Slim: $69 billion, telecommunications
• Bill Gates: $61 billion, Microsoft Corp.
• Warren Buffett: $44 billion, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
• Bernard Arnault: $41 billion, LVMH Moet Hennessy
• Armancio Ortega $37.5 billion, Zara International
• Larry Ellison $36 billion, Oracle Corp.
• Eike Batista $30 billion, mining and oil industries
• Stefan Persson $26 billion, clothing chain H&M
• Li Ka-shing $25.5 billion, diversified industries
• Karl Albrecht $25.4 billion, discount supermarket chain Aldi Group
Source: Forbes magazine
Last Updated (Thursday, 08 March 2012 03:14)