In December 2012, CMG published an outline of IKEA’s complex, two-pronged corporate outfit in “Eternal Life for Ikea.” The 72-year old company has taken great care in hiding its ownership structure, and so far it has succeeded. Many journalists have attempted to decipher the byzantine corporate architecture, and even Kamprad’s net worth. This information has been so hard to pin down that estimates of his fortune vary from $3.5 billion to $42 billion. Yes, that’s a $38.5 billion dollar margin of error.
This inscrutability is bolstered by the fact that that Kamprad himself does not own either Ikea Group, which operates the stores, or Inter Ikea, which owns the Ikea brand. But the complex way Kamprad has structured Ikea and other entities, many of which are foundations, conceals who the financial beneficiaries are. Even Fortune Magazine was unable to get to the bottom of it in a recent issue.