AMANCIO ORTEGA has strengthened his position as the wealthiest person in Spain with a personal fortune in excess of €70 billion, according to the latest Forbes’ Rich List.
It comes after the founder of Inditex fashion group – best known for its Zara chain of stores – briefly toppled Microsoft mogul Bill Gates to become the richest person on the planet in August this year.
The 81-year-old tycoon’s assets are equivalent to the combined wealth of the 51 individuals who follow him in the annual Top 100 published by the Spanish edition of Forbes’ magazine.
Second place on the 2017 list is occupied by Ortega’s daughter and heiress Sandra Ortega Mera who is estimated to be worth €6.5 billion, while third place is taken by Mercadona president Juan Roig with €4.8 billion.
The top ten is completed by boss of hotel group Iberostar Miguel Fluxa (€3.6 billion), president of infrastructure giant Ferrovial Rafael del Pino (€2.9 billion), OHL construction chief Juan Miguel Villar Millar (€2.7 billion), Roig’s wife and Mercadona vice-president Hortensia Herrero (€2.6 billion), casino magnate Manuel Lao (€2.4 billion), Mango founder Isak Andic (€2.3 billion), and security firm Prosegur head Helena Revoredo (€2.3 billion).
But the influence of the famously reclusive Ortega – who has a 59 per cent stake in Inditex, the largest textile group in the world, plus a property empire managed via Pontegadea Real Estate – is such that if he is removed from the list the average net worth of the top 100 falls from €1.58 billion to €890 million.
Only 27 spots are occupied by women, who have between them amassed €24.5 billion.