Anders Holch Povlsen

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Anders Holch Povlsen
Born (1972-11-04) 4 November 1972 (age 51)
Alma materAnglia Ruskin University
OccupationOwner of Bestseller
Known forLargest individual private landowner in the UK
SpouseAnne Storm-Pedersen
Children7 (4 living)
Parent(s)Troels Holch Povlsen
Merete Bech Povlsen

Anders Holch Povlsen (born 4 November 1972)[1] is a Danish billionaire, CEO and sole owner of the international retail clothing chain Bestseller (which includes Vero Moda and Jack & Jones), a company founded by his parents. He is the largest shareholder in the British internet fashion retailer ASOS and second-largest in German internet clothing retailer Zalando. He is also the largest individual private landowner in the UK.[2]

As of September 2022, Povlsen was listed as the richest Dane with a net worth estimated at US$11.3 billion.[3]

Early life[edit]

Constantinsborg Estate in Aarhus, Denmark

Anders Holch Povlsen was born in 1972 to Troels Holch Povlsen and Merete Bech Povlsen.[3] The family's first clothing store opened in 1975 in the small Danish town of Brande, with a population of 7,000.[4]

Other outlets soon followed. Povlsen was only 28 when his father made him the sole owner of Bestseller.[4] The family also has an interest, along with two Danish partners, in Bestseller Fashion Group China, a company that designs its own collections for 5,000 stores in China.[4]

Povlsen has a BA degree from Anglia Ruskin University, and his alma mater gave him an honorary doctorate in 2015.[5]


In 2013, Povlsen bought a 10% stake in the German internet clothing retailer Zalando, becoming its third largest shareholder. Povlsen already had a 27% stake in, the largest UK internet-only fashion retailer.[6]

In October 2019, Povlsen's net worth was estimated as US$8.0 billion, making him the wealthiest person in Scotland.[3][7]

As a landowner[edit]


Aldourie Castle

In 2018/2019 it was reported that Povlsen owns 221,000 acres (890 km2; 345 sq mi) of land in Scotland, making him its largest landowner.[2][8] This has risen from a 2012 level of 120,000 acres (490 km2; 190 sq mi), when he had bought two further large estates, the 24,000-acre Ben Loyal, and 18,000-acre Kinloch Lodge, both in Sutherland, in addition to a 47,000-acre estate he bought in Inverness-shire in 2006 and a 30,000-acre estate near Fort William that he bought in 2008.[9]

In 2013, it was reported that Povlsen had bought the 20,000 acres (81 km2; 31 sq mi) Gaick Estate in Inverness-shire earlier that year, bringing his total to 150,000 acres (61,000 ha), second only to the Buccleuch Estates as Scotland's largest private landowner. In addition, Povlsen had bought land in the Borders specifically to trade it with the Forestry Commission, in return for 1,000 acres (400 ha) of woodland to add to his 43,000 acres (17,000 ha) Glenfeshie Estate, south of Aviemore. Povlsen bought Glenfeshie in 2006, and expanded it by buying the 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) neighbouring farm of Killiehuntly.[10]

In 2014, he bought Aldourie Castle on the banks of Loch Ness for £15 million.[11] He also bought the Eriboll estate in Sutherland.[12] In 2017, Povlsen bought the Jenners building on Princes Street in Edinburgh, reportedly for £53 million. He announced plans to renovate the building, including a hotel and rooftop restaurant.[13]

He plans to combine his adjoining estates and re-wild them.[14] Aggressive techniques to facilitate tree growth were adopted after 2004[15] and into the 2020s[16] in Glenfeshie within the Cairngorms National Park.


In Denmark, Povlsen owns and resides at the old Constantinsborg Estate west of Aarhus, along with substantial farmland and forests.[17]


Povlsen has bought land in Romania's Carpathian Mountains to create a wilderness reserve for the surviving wolves, bears and lynx.[10][18]

Personal life[edit]

Povlsen is married to Anne Holch Povlsen (formerly Anne Storm-Pedersen[19]), and the couple had four children: Alma, Agnes, Astrid and Alfred.[20] Alma, Agnes and Alfred were killed at the Shangri-La Colombo hotel during the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings,[21] when the family was on holiday there.[22][23][24] They had twin girls less than a year later on 11 March 2020,[25] and another son on 29 September 2021.[26]


  1. ^ Lee, Allen (1 October 2019). "Meet Anders Holch Povlsen: The Richest Man in Denmark". Money Inc. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  2. ^ a b McCann, David (8 October 2018). "Dane of the Highlands is UK’s biggest landowner". The Times. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Forbes profile: Anders Holch Povlsen". Forbes. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Luisa Kroll, Meet Denmark's Newest, Youngest Fashion Billionaire, Forbes, 13 December 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Anders Holch Povlsen - ARU". Retrieved 14 October 2022.
  6. ^ Cruz, Julie (13 August 2013). "Billionaire Holch Povlsen Adds Zalando to Fashion Portfolio". Bloomberg. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Scotland's wealthiest man praised for repaying furlough funds". Strathspey Herald. 17 September 2020. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  8. ^ Carrell, Severin (20 March 2019). "Report calls for reform of 'unhealthy' land ownership in Scotland". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  9. ^ Middleton, Christopher (13 May 2012). "The new viking invasion". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 15 May 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  10. ^ a b Ross, David (5 June 2013). "Questions raised over land swap deal with billionaire". The Herald. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  11. ^ Macaskill, Mark (15 June 2014). "Fairytale castle on Ness for Povlsen". The Times. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  12. ^ "This Danish businessman is now the largest landowner in Scotland". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Jenners could quit Princes Street after 181 years". BBC News. 26 November 2019. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  14. ^ Carrell, Severin (21 March 2019). "Danish billionaires plan to rewild large swath of Scottish Highlands". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  15. ^ Richard Baynes. "Glenfeshie: How zero tolerance brought back the trees". Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  16. ^ George Monbiot. "In Defence of Speciesism". Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  17. ^ Lønstrup, Dorthe (16 June 2014). "Pressesky tøj-arving med sans for nethandel og skotske jagtmarker". Politiken (in Danish). Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  18. ^ Shukman, Harry. "Meet the philanthropist tycoons making wild investment choices". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  19. ^ White, Lesley (19 May 2018). "Anne Storm Pedersen, the monarch of the glens". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  20. ^ Ehrenskjöld, Ehrenskjöld; Mikkelsen, Lasse (22 April 2019). "Danmarks rigeste mands børn dræbt i bombemassakre". Ekstra Bladet. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  21. ^ Jarvis, Jacob (4 May 2019). "Funeral held for three children killed in Sri Lanka bomb attacks". Evening Standard. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  22. ^ Gram, Kasper Duncan (26 April 2019). "VIDEO Præst læser besked fra Holch Povlsen-familien til fakkeltog: Tabet er ubegribeligt" [VIDEO Priest reads message from the Holch Povlsen family at torchlight procession: The loss is inconceivable]. DR (in Danish). Retrieved 26 April 2019. The loss of our beloved children, Alma, Agnes and Alfred is totally inconceivable.
  23. ^ Goodley, Simon (22 April 2019). "Three children of Asos billionaire killed in Sri Lanka attacks". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  24. ^ Kottasová, Ivana; Bashir, Nada (22 April 2019). "Danish retail billionaire loses 3 children in Sri Lanka attacks". CNN. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  25. ^ "DEJLIG NYHED: Bestseller-par har fået tvillinger". BILLED-BLADET (in Danish). 11 March 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  26. ^ Eilertsen, Henriette (7 October 2021). "Foreldre igjen etter tragedien" [Parents again after the tragedy]. Dagbladet (in Norwegian).