LONDON — Three of the four children of Danish fashion retail and property tycoon Anders Holch Povlsen have died in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka that killed at least 290, a spokesman for Povlsen has confirmed.
Billionaire Povlsen is one of Denmark’s wealthiest individuals and the owner and chief executive officer of Bestseller, the Denmark-based, fashion clothing retail chain with 3.3 billion euros in sales. It carries men’s and women’s contemporary brands such as Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, Only and Pieces.
“Unfortunately, we can confirm the reports,” said a spokesman for Bestseller Fashion Group, which is 100 percent owned by the Povlsen family. “We ask you to respect the privacy of the family and we therefore have no further comments.”
Povlsen is also the largest single shareholder in Asos.com, and has also held significant stakes in Zalando and J.Lindeberg. He remained one of Zalando’s largest shareholders after the company went public in 2014.
Povlsen owns swathes of property in the U.K., and Scotland in particular. He and his family were on holiday in Sri Lanka when the attacks were carried out at Catholic churches in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa, and at a string of five-star hotels in Colombo.
The children, whose names have not been released, were among 290 reported dead after eight blasts ripped through the cities, killing locals and tourists celebrating Easter. Some 500 people have been reported injured and, according to media reports, some 24 people have been arrested.
“Words cannot suffice to describe the unbearable loss of the Holch Povlsen family and everyone else who lost their loved ones in the attacks. We send our deepest condolences,” said Cecilie Thorsmark, ceo of Copenhagen Fashion Week.
Police have found undetonated explosives, as well as a pipe bomb, at the main airport. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, and it remains unclear whether those who carried out them out were local groups working alone, or on behalf of an international network.