How Zara’s boss made an empire


July 11, 2020, Saturday, 1:18 p.m.

Author: Flagman.BGOrtega, 84, invested 2.1 billion euros in real estate last year through various subsidiaries of his holding company Pontegadea

After amassing a fortune in the clothing trade, Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega turned to real estate. The creator and owner of ZARA owns the most expensive set of properties among the super-rich in Europe, with his assets valued at 15.2 billion euros ($ 17.2 billion), Bloomberg writes.

Ortega, 84, invested 2.1 billion euros in real estate last year through various subsidiaries of his holding company, Pontegadea. The holding, which owns 59.3% of ZARA’s parent company, Inditex, has net revenues of 1.8 billion euros for 2019, including 1.64 billion euros in Inditex dividends and 621 million euros in real estate assets. properties.

To maintain his vast fortune, Spain’s richest man has diversified his investment in the fashion business, investing more than $ 3 billion in real estate in the United States in recent years.

His purchases include iconic properties such as the historic Haughwout Building (pictured below) in Manhattan’s most modern district and Miami’s tallest office building. Last year, one of his companies bought a $ 72.5 million hotel in downtown Chicago, as well as a building in Washington’s central business district and two office buildings in Seattle.

Wealth is declining

In addition to leasing technology giants such as and Facebook, Pontegadea also rents out its premises to Inditex’s competitors Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) and Gap.

Ortega, the son of a railroad worker, has a fortune of $ 56.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires index, much of which is due to his majority stake in Inditex.

However, 2020 is not one of its success periods – its wealth has fallen by more than a quarter this year as the coronavirus pandemic forced Inditex to close its stores. The company’s shares have fallen by more than 22% in recent months.

Ortega has long been in the top five in the ranking of the richest, and is currently only in 14th place, having lost more than $ 19 billion since the beginning of the year.

In addition to real estate, the businessman has also invested in energy and telecommunications, buying a 5% stake in Enagas last year. In 2018, Pontegadea acquired a 9.99% stake in Telefonica for EUR 378.8 million.

Pontegadea said the Covid-19 crisis could affect its rental income and dividends this year. The holding expects to receive 646 million euros in dividends from Inditex in 2020.

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