Danish billionaire loses three children in attacks

Mr Anders Holch Povlsen (above), his wife Anne and their four children were in Sri Lanka on vacation at the time of the attacks. Right: One of Mr Povlsen's children had posted a photo on Instagram geo-tagged Sri Lanka last Thursday.
Mr Anders Holch Povlsen (above), his wife Anne and their four children were in Sri Lanka on vacation at the time of the attacks.

COPENHAGEN • Three of the four children of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, a spokesman for his clothing retail group Bestseller said yesterday.

The Danish media reported that Mr Povlsen, his wife Anne, and their four children were in Sri Lanka on vacation at the time of the attacks, which struck churches and luxury hotels, killing nearly 300 people.

"I can confirm that three children have been killed," Mr Jesper Stubkier, communications manager for Bestseller, said in a statement. "We ask you to respect the privacy of the family and we therefore have no further comments."

Considered to be Denmark's richest man, the 46-year-old Mr Povlsen is the main shareholder of online fashion retailer Asos, apart from owning Bestseller.

He inherited Bestseller from his parents, who founded the firm in 1975. The group, which includes brands such as Vero Moda, Only and Jack & Jones, has more than 3,000 stores in 70 countries.

 One of Mr Povlsen's children had posted a photo on Instagram geo-tagged Sri Lanka last Thursday.
One of Mr Povlsen's children had posted a photo on Instagram geo-tagged Sri Lanka last Thursday. PHOTO: ALMASHPOVLSEN/INSTAGRAM

In addition to the majority stake in Britain-based Asos, Mr Povlsen also owns an interest in its German rival Zalando.

Sri Lankan officials yesterday said they believe local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jama'ath to be behind the attacks.

Dozens of foreigners are among those killed, while some 500 people were injured.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2019, with the headline 'Danish billionaire loses three children in attacks'. Print Edition | Subscribe