Amancio Ortega owns 59% of Inditex, the world’s largest clothing retailer. The Arteixo, Spain-based company is parent of Zara and seven other retail brands, operates more than 7,400 stores and had revenue of 32.6 billion euros ($34.1 billion) in the year to Jan. 31, 2023. He also owns premium office and retail properties worldwide.
The majority of Ortega’s fortune is derived from a 59.3% stake in Inditex, the world’s largest clothing retailer. He controls his stake through Arteixo, Spain-based holding companies Pontegadea Inversiones and Partler, according to Inditex’s 2022 annual report.
Since the company’s 2001 initial public offering, Ortega has received more than 9 billion euros ($10 billion) in dividends, based on an analysis of company filings and Bloomberg data. Much of that cash has been spent on commercial property through closely held entities, Pontegadea and Partler. His real estate assets are valued using the average price-to-book value multiples of five publicly traded peers: Societe Fonciere Lyonnaise, Eurocommercial Properties, Realty Income Corp, Covivio and Hammerson.
He acquired property across Europe and North America through Pontegadea since the end of 2021 for about $3.2 billion in total, according to media reports and registry filings. This analysis assumes he paid cash for the investment, which is included as a separate asset since their values aren’t reflected in Pontegadea’s 2021 results.
He also controls about 5% of Spanish energy company Enagas, and acquired a minority stake in Telefonica SA’s tower unit for $440 million in 2018. He also owns stakes in Portuguese power and gas grid operator REN and Spanish national grid operator Red Electrica as well as renewable energy projects from Repsol SA, according to registry filings and company statements.
In July 2020, El Grupo Pontegadea said it is the parent of Ortega’s assets and has absorbed companies including Pontegadea Inversiones as part of a corporate restructuring.
A liability is included to reflect asset purchases and an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance.
A person familiar with Ortega’s fortune, who asked not to be identified because his finances are private, said that Bloomberg’s net worth calculation was in line with the billionaire’s holdings.
Born in 1936 to a railroad worker and housewife in northwestern Spain, Ortega started working in a clothing shop in the city of La Coruna at age 13. In 1963, he started making women’s bathrobes with his siblings and soon-to-be-wife Rosalia Mera, who stitched some of the first items by hand in their home.
He opened the first Zara store in 1975. A decade later, he incorporated the chain into a holding company named Inditex. He and Mera separated around the same time and ultimately divorced; she was Inditex’s second-largest shareholder until she died from a brain hemorrhage in August 2013. From 1988 to 1990, Ortega expanded to Portugal, France and the US, and in the decade that followed, he introduced the Pull&Bear and Bershka brands and acquired Massimo Dutti and Stradivarius. Inditex raised 2.4 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in a 2001 public offering. The company had more than 5,000 stores in 77 countries by 2010.
Ortega has invested much of his dividend income over the past decade in office and retail properties in major cities in Spain, the US and elsewhere in Europe. Since he stepped down as chairman in 2011, speculation has grown that daughter Marta Ortega Perez, who started her Inditex career as a salesperson, will someday take the reins of the company.
- 1936 Amancio Ortega Gaona is born in Busdongo de Arbas, Spain.
- 1963 Founds clothing maker with siblings and future wife Rosalia Mera.
- 1975 The first Zara store opens in downtown La Coruna, Spain.
- 1985 Inditex is founded, incorporating Zara and manufacturing units.
- 1988 Zara opens its first store outside Spain, in Porto, Portugal.
- 2001 Raises 2.4 billion euros in Inditex’s initial public offering.
- 2010 Inditex opens 5,000th store, bringing presence to 77 countries.
- 2011 Steps down as Inditex’s chairman, naming Pablo Isla to the post.