In devastating news, billionaire businessman Anders Holch Povlsen, 46, and his wife, Anne Storm Pedersen, lost three of their four children in the series of bombs that went off in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. The family was staying at the Shangri La Hotel, one of the popular five-star hotels targeted by the terrorists on Sunday morning that killed 290 people.
It remains unclear which three of the Povlsen’s children were killed, or which of the eight attacks they were involved with, Jesper Stubkier, communications manager for for Holch Povlsen’s wholesale fashion business Bestseller told the AP “We have no further comment and we ask that the family’s privacy is respected at this time.”
Anne Storm Pedersen, 42, the wife of the richest man in Denmark, shares with her husband the title of owning the most land in Scotland. In addition to being the mother of their four children, Pedersen also sits on the board of Bestseller. While their wealth would normally put the couple on the front pages of many newspapers and magazines, Holch Povlsen has an estimated net worth of 5.7 billion according to Bloomberg, the couple keeps their private life low-key, and rarely do public interviews.
Here’s what you need to know Anne Storm Pedersen Holch Povlsen:
1. She and Her Husband Own 11 Cottages, A Castle & 221,000 Acres in Scotland
Anne and Anders own more land in Scotland than the Prince of Wales, the Dukes of Atholl, Westminster, and the Duke of Buccleuch. Holch Povlsen started buying up properties in 2006 with the purchase of a $10 million estate in Glenfeshie, and it snowballed from there, acquiring Aldourie Castle sits on 500 acres near Loch Ness, and a $20 million Braeroy estate near Fort William.
Between 2011 and 2016, they purchased 7 more estates, including the acquisition of the 19,500 acre Gaick estate in the Cairngorms, which is accessible only by off-road vehicle, and the Ben Loyal lodge, which makes up 24,000 acres.
2. Anne Met Anders While Working in Sales at Bestseller
While Anne now sits on Bestseller’s board of directors, she started in the company in sales. Anders inherited Bestseller from his father Troels, who found the fashion empire in 1975. Starting out as one store, it’s not a sprawling empire that owns brands such as Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, and nearly 30% of the popular British clothing company, ASOS.
3. She Has Four Children, Three of Which Died in Sri Lanka
The couple has three daughters and one son, Agnes, Alma, Astrid, and Alfred. While of press time, it’s unknown which child survived the series of eight terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, as the entire family was in town visiting Colombo for the holiday.
A few days before the attacks, their daughter Alma posted a photo on Instagram of her three siblings. The comments section has since been filled with condolences for the family’s massive loss.
4. Anne Converts Farmhouses into Luxury Vacation Rentals
The 42-year-old woman is passionate about interior design, which makes sense considering how many homes she and her husband own. Over the years, Anne has torn down the outdated insides of traditional Highland properties and transformed them into modernized and fashionable rooms. The places are open to be rented by the public like small hotels, and managed by the family’s firm, Wildland Ltd. Prices for a room average around $400 a night.
Anne also renovated Killiehuntly, which is now a luxury vacation rental surrounded which she hopes guests find themselves “rediscovering the meaning of life.”
Anne hired architect Nicholas Groves-Raines, who specializes in refurbishing old buildings, to make the farmhouse livable without losing its original charm and layout. For the interiors, Anne used what she called “Scandi-Scot,” mixing Danish designs with pieces built by local craftspeople. “It’s aa place of beauty,” she said. “A subtle but powerful contrast to the raw Scottish nature surrounding us.”
5. The Family Was Threatened to Be Murdered By an Extortionist
In 1998, Kurt Hansen sent the Povlesons letters of extortion, saying that if he didn’t receive 1 million pounds, that he would murder them. Hansen, who was 34 at the time, broke into their home to leave a note near the bedroom, and carved his own initials on their vehicles.
According to the Daily Mail, When Hansen was arrested, he was in possession of handcuffs, flammable liquids and a handgun. When police searched his home, they found disguises, a how-to book on how to poison someone and a secret room underneath his floor.