Zara billionaire founder’s real estate fortune hits $20 billion
The real estate investments of fashion billionaire Amancio Ortega recorded a 19% increase in value in 2022, as it expanded into logistics and added luxury apartment buildings.
The property portfolio owned by the Inditex SA founder was valued at €18.1 billion ($20.1 billion) in 2022, up from €15.3 billion in 2021, according to a statement Thursday from Pontegadea, the firm that manages Ortega’s fortune. His real estate portfolio is the largest among Europe’s superwealthy individuals.
Spain’s richest man spent about $1 billion on warehouses across the U.S. last year, in his first move to invest in the logistics industry after years of focusing mainly on commercial real estate. Pontegadea needs to spend close to €2 billion a year that it receives as dividends from Ortega’s 59% stake in Inditex, owner of the Zara and Bershka clothing brands, among others.
Because of its legal and tax structure, Pontegadea needs to invest all the income it receives from Inditex within a year and in investments considered “real economy” — meaning it cannot put money into bonds and other types of securities. In 2022, Pontegadea reported revenue of €2.5 billion, with Inditex dividends accounting for €1.7 billion. Turnover from the real estate business increased 21% to €782 million.
The U.S. logistics acquisitions included plants in Pennsylvania and Texas, making Ortega, 86, landlord to companies such as Amazon.com Inc., TJX Cos. and FedEx Corp.
In 2022, Ortega also bought two residential properties, a 64-story skyscraper in Seattle and an apartment building on New York’s Dutch Street.
This year, Ortega agreed to pay $115 million for his first European warehouse in Venlo, Netherlands, and bought a plant east of Los Angeles used by Walmart Inc.
The recent acquisitions mark the latest steps to diversify a portfolio historically focused on landmark office and retail buildings, including Meta Platforms Inc.’s headquarters in Seattle, Manhattan’s historic Haughwout Building or London’s Adelphi.
The family office also owns stakes in energy and telecom infrastructure operators and renewable-power generators, including a 12% stake in the Portuguese power and gas grid operator REN-Redes Energeticas Nacionais SGPS and 5% in the Spanish electricity transporter Red Electrica Corp.
Ortega has a net worth of $76.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.