Only a fraction of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad's fortune will go to his heirs.

Kamprad, who died late last month at age 91, was one of the richest people on earth thanks to the tearaway success of his flatpack empire.

In fact, the famously frugal entrepreneur was ranked number eight on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with his fortune estimated to be around A$73.8 billion ($80b).

But it appears most of that wealth won't go to Kamprad's heirs, as most of his furniture stores are owned by the Stichting Ingka Foundation.


According to Bloomberg, the Dutch entity's purpose is donating to charity and "supporting innovation" in design.

It was founded by Kamprad in the '80s and exists outside his family's control.

Instead, the company is controlled by Liechtenstein-based Interogo Foundation.

Its subsidiary, Inter IKEA, is the global IKEA franchisor.

"Interogo Foundation is managed by a Foundation Council (Stiftungsrat) consisting of at least two members and a Supervisory Council (Beirat), as a principle consisting of seven members," Bloomberg reports that Anders Bylund, Interogo's head of communications, wrote in a January 29 email: "The Kamprad family members in the Supervisory Councils have been and shall always be in minority."

IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad. Photo / AP
IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad. Photo / AP

As well as philanthropy, the Stichting Ingka Foundation also allows for profits to be reinvested into the company.

Bloomberg has reported that the foundation essentially owns itself, meaning Kamprad's family can't own any shares.

The purpose of this unique — and uniquely complicated — structure was to ensure IKEA's long-term survival, as it is now impossible for any individual person to take control of the company after Kamprad's death — even a direct heir.


It means Kamprad's family members won't have control over the IKEA company, but will receive modest sums from Ikano Group, a company worth billions in its own right.

Ikano Group is owned by the family and runs a number of businesses in the finance, real estate, manufacturing and retail industries.

Per Heggenes, the chief executive of the IKEA Foundation, told Bloomberg in 2012 Kamprad was "not interested in money".