Asos billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen loses three children in Sri Lanka blasts

Denmark’s richest man Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife lost three of their four children in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka. One of Mr Povlsen's children posted a photo on Instagram (right) geo-tagged Sri Lanka on April 18, 2019.
Denmark’s richest man Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife lost three of their four children in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka. One of Mr Povlsen's children posted a photo on Instagram (right) geo-tagged Sri Lanka on April 18, 2019.PHOTOS: EPA-EFE, ALMASHPOVLSEN/INSTAGRAM

LONDON (REUTERS, AFP) - Denmark’s richest man Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife lost three of their four children in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, a spokesman for Povlsen’s fashion firm said on Monday (April 22).

Danish media have reported that Mr Povlsen, his wife Anne and their four children - Alma, Astrid, Agnes and Alfred - were in Sri Lanka on vacation at the moment of the attacks, which struck churches and luxury hotels killing nearly 300 people. 

But it it not clear which children have died.

“I can confirm that three children have been killed,” Jesper Stubkier, the 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.”

According to Australian news website ABC, their daughter, Alma, posted a photo of her siblings in Sri Lanka on her Instagram page five days ago, where tributes and condolences have been flowing since the attack.

Hundreds have expressed their condolences for her, with one post from an account named amali.pi saying "we are so so so sorry for what happened to your family, no words will ever be enough".

Comments on her Instagram photo seems to suggest she may have survived.

Considered to be Denmark’s richest man, 46-year-old Povlsen is the main shareholder in the online fashion retailer Asos as well as the owner of 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.  In addition to the majority stake in Britain-based Asos, Mr Povlsen also owns an interest in its German rival Zalando.

The billionaire also describes himself as “one of Scotland’s largest landowners” on the website of the Wildland company he uses to invest in UK property. 

“We wish to restore our parts of the (Scotland) Highlands to their former magnificent natural state and repair the harm that man has inflicted on them,” Mr Povlsen and his wife say on the website.  “There are many vulnerable properties across all of the holdings that we have the wonderful and privileged opportunity to rehabilitate and restore to life.”

At least 290 people, including 39 tourists, have been killed in the coordinated blasts at churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday, the worst violence Sri Lanka has seen since the end of a civil war a decade ago.

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