Lego founder’s great granddaughter – who is one of the richest women in the world and friends with Princess Mary of Denmark – sells $930 million of shares in the family firm
- Sofie Kirk Kristiansen is the great-granddaughter of Lego founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen and a friend of Princess Mary of Denmark
- Sofie sold 4 million shares in company Kirkbi A/S, which controls 75 percent of The Lego Group, according to reports
- Kirkbi’s assets have swelled to around 166 billion kroner, mainly driven by rising profits at Lego
One of the billionaire heirs to the Lego fortune has sold shares in the company’s family firm for about $930 million.
Sofie Kirk Kristiansen, 47, is the great-granddaughter of founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen, who established the Danish toymaker in 1932, and a close friend of Princess Mary of Denmark.
Sofie sold 4 million shares in company Kirkbi A/S, which controls 75 percent of The Lego Group, for 6.32 billion kroner – around 158,000 kroner a piece – according to a filing with the Danish company register reported by Bloomberg.
The proceeds of the share sales were paid out as a form of dividend and the shares were subsequently canceled by Kirkbi, meaning that other family members increased their stakes in the family firm, the company said in a statement.
‘Earlier this year, Sofie Kirk Kristiansen agreed with the other shareholders to sell a small portion of her shares to Kirkbi in order to dedicate a greater part of her time and resources to a number of nature conservation projects,’ Kirkbi said.
Sofie Kirk Kristiansen, 47, is the great-granddaughter of founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen, who established the Danish toymaker in 1932
According to Forbes, Sofie has a net worth of $6.8 billion. And according to the company’s index of the richest people in Europe in 2022, the Lego dynasty remains the richest family in Denmark – representing $32.8 billion of the country’s $57 billion total billionaire wealth.
The family firm is currently chaired by Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, Sofie’s brother, who took over when their father Kjeld stepped down in May.
According to a Kirkbi press release at the time, Sofie had 12.7 percent voting rights at the company, while her sister Agnete had 12.8 percent and Thomas had 37.7 percent.
The three fourth-generation heir siblings had 25 percent ownership share in Kirkbi each, and the rest is held by their father – at 22.5 percent – and the family’s non-profit foundation.
It is not clear how Sofie’s selling of her shares could increase her siblings’ share ownership or voting rights in the family holding company.
Sofie Kirk Kristiansen sold 4 million shares in company Kirkbi A/S, which controls 75 percent of The Lego Group
Sofie Kirk Kristiansen is a friend of Princess Mary of Denmark
Although Lego has been around for more than 90 years, the toy company is still managing to beat its rivals in sales and revenue.
The company began making plastic bricks in the 1950s, after starting out in wooden toys.
Lego saw huge growth during the Covid-19 pandemic, with sales soaring 43 percent in the first half of 2021.
In 2022, the company’s revenues were $9.1 billion – compared to $5.4 billion at Barbie-maker Mattel.
Ole Kirk Kristiansen established the Danish toymaker in 1932
Lego has seen a steady increase in revenue since 2018, according to official company figures
Demand has since cooled – and the toymaker saw its worst profit drop in nearly two decades – 19 percent – in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period the year prior.
However the company’s CEO Niels Christiansen told The Financial Times this was planned.
Profitability soared to unsustainable levels during the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, and Lego decided to invest in sustainability and a digital push.
‘We’ve kept outperforming the market at the same rate as the past four or five years. This year, the market was down,’ Christiansen told the outlet in August.
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