Amancio Ortega Gaona is a Spanish billionaire businessman best known for confounding the Inditex fashion group with ex-wife Rosalia Mera. Among other things, the group owns the globally popular Zara fashion stores. Amanio Orgega’s net worth is estimated at a whopping $100 billion, thanks to his stake in Inditex.

Let’s dive into his career, net worth, and life story to see what insights we can learn from the billionaire businessman.

Amancio Ortega Net Worth Breakdown

Since most of Amancio Ortega’s wealth derives from his stake in Inditex which is a listed company, we can form a good estimate of his net worth. Amancio Ortega’s net worth is around $100 billion, making him the richest man in Spain and the third richest person in Europe after Bernault Arnault and Françoise Bettencourt Meyers. Globally, he is among the top 15 richest people.

His daughter Sandra Ortega Mera is Spain’s richest woman with an estimated net worth of around $10 billion, thanks to the Inditex stake she inherited from her mother and Ortega’s former wife Rosalia Mera. While Sandra Ortega Mera owns around a 5% stake in the company, she’s not actively involved with the day-to-day running.

Most of Amancio Ortega’s net worth comes from his ownership stake in Inditex, which has a market cap of over €120 billion. Ortega owns around 59% stake in the company whose value is pegged at 70 billion euros at current prices.

Here is what we know about what comprises Ortega’s net worth:

Asset or Income Source Contribution to Net Worth
Inditex stake $75 billion
Inditex annual dividends $2.3 billion
Real estate $22 billion
Annual rental income $800 million
Other investments $3 billion
Private jets and yachts $180 million
Total Net Worth $100 billion

Amancio Ortega Net Worth: Early Life & Family

Amancio Ortega was born Amancio Ortega Gaona on 28 March, 1936, in Busdongo de Arbas, León, Spain. His father Antonio Ortega Rodríguez was a railroad worker while his mother Josefa Gaona Hernández was a housemaid. Amancio Ortega was the youngest of the couple’s four children. The family had modest means and at times could only afford potatoes for meals.

He didn’t receive much formal education, and when he was a teenager, he had to move to A Coruña due to his father’s job. Ortega soon started working as an assistant at Gala, a local shirtmaker and tailor located in the town. It was Ortega’s first brush with the retail industry, and he gained experience in making various types of clothes as well as the manufacturing process.

Amancio Ortega Net Worth: Here’s How He Built the Clothing Empire

In the early 1960s, Ortega started to make clothes at his home with siblings and future wife Rosalia Mera, and in 1963 he launched his own manufacturing company, a small dressmaking workshop named Confecciones Goa S.A.

In 1975, Ortega opened the first Zara store with his wife, Rosalía Mera, in A Coruña, and the location was just a few blocks away from where he worked as a teenager. By then, the business had grown considerably, and Ortega owned several factories across Spain.

zara storefront
While today both Zara and Zara Home are well-known global brands and are associated with luxury, the name Zara wasn’t the first choice for Ortega, who instead wanted to name it Zorba after the movie Zorba the Greek. As luck would have it, there was already a local bar by the same name and Ortega had to settle for Zara as he had already bought the molds for the letters in Zorba.

Gradually, Zara opened stores across different cities in Spain, and in 1988, the company expanded internationally, opening its first Zara store in Portugal. It subsequently expanded in Paris and New York over the next couple of years and has since built its presence across the world. Inditex also diversified its retail empire and added Pull & Bear to its portfolio in 1991 and Massimo Dutti, Bershka, and Stradivarius over that decade.

By the end of the last century, it had a presence in over 30 different markets with five different clothing chains. Cut to 2024, and the company has a total of seven brands and around 5,800 stores.

The company continued to expand internationally in the 2000s and pivoted to ecommerce between 2007 and 2017. Amancio Ortega relinquished his position as the chairman and CEO in 2011 and handed over the baton to executive president Pablo Isla, but continued to be on the company’s board.

In late 2021, the company made another leadership transition and Ortega picked daughter Marta Ortega Pérez as the chairperson while Óscar García Maceiras became the company’s CEO.

marta ortega perez
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Inditex’s Initial Public Offering Boosts Amancio Ortega’s Net Worth

Ortega incorporated Zara into a holding company called Inditex in 1985 and the company eventually went public in 2001. The €2.3 billion IPO valued the company at €9 billion or roughly $8.1 billion at the time.

The company listed on Bolsa de Madrid and the IPO sailed through even as some analysts were concerned over its valuation. A major issue was the fact that over three-quarters of the company’s sales then came from Zara – which was and continues to be the flagship brand.

The company’s IPO has been a wealth creator for the Ortega family as well as other public investors as its market value has since surged to around €120 billion ($129.5 billion today). It generated revenues of €32.6 billion ($34.23 billion at the time) in 2022 as compared to €28.2 billion ($31.58 billion at the time) in 2019.

Although Inditex’s revenues nosedived in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they have since bounced back. The business generates healthy profits and cash flows and in 2022, its profits were $7.3 billion ($7.66 billion at the time), around half of which it used to pay dividends.

inditex share price
In 2023, Inditex paid a per-share dividend of €1.20 ($1.30). The company has been gradually increasing its dividend over the years, barring a few instances including during the COVID-19 pandemic when, like fellow retail companies, it had to cut down on its dividends. Ortega has earned over $12 billion in dividends from Zara’s parent company since the company went public.

The company’s current dividend yield is 3%. While it adds billions of dollars to Ortega’s net wealth every year, retail investors might be able to find stocks with a much higher dividend yield.

Amancio Ortega Real Estate Assets

Amancio Ortega has a flair for real estate and owns several properties through his company’s investment arm, Pontegadea. The billionaire owns properties across the world including major European capitals. Here are some of the real estate assets that Ortega owns.

Warehouses

In January 2024, Ortega’s investment company acquired a warehouse in Canada for around $272 million. The Burnaby property is leased by ecommerce giant Amazon. The same month he bought a facility in the Netherlands that’s used by Primark.

Last year, he bought a California warehouse occupied by Walmart.

Overall, Ortega owns nearly 1 million square feet of warehouses globally occupied by leading companies. He started investing in logistics real estate assets in 2022, beginning with North America and soon started accumulating assets in Europe also.

Other Properties

In August 2023, the company invested in a $232 million Chicago apartment tower which has 492 apartments. The 45-story property is almost 500 feet tall and sits on 727 W. Madison St. The complex has multiple amenities including a media theater, sky lounge, and conference rooms. The property was the latest addition to the multiple other properties that the billionaire owns in Chicago.

Royal Bank Plaza in Toronto was purchased in 2022 for $916 million. The skyscraper has been the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada since 1976.

Ortega has a flair for office buildings, and among others, he is the landlord of Amazon’s Seattle office and Meta Platforms’ offices in Madrid and Seattle. He has rented an office to Alphabet in Madrid’s iconic Picasso Tower and owns Apple stores in Barcelona and Valencia.

The iPhone maker has rented Ortega’s properties in Paris, Miami, and San Francisco. Spotify has also rented an office from Ortega in London. Ortega owns properties on Oxford Street which is London’s prime shopping street.

Ortega has been a real estate investor for quite a long and bought the 515-foot Torre Picasso in Madrid in 2016 for $536 million and also owns properties in Miami Beach. In 2016, he bought the famous Madrid skyscraper named Cepsa Tower for $550 million. In 2019, Ortega bought a downtown Chicago hotel for around $73 million.

amancio ortega miami beach
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In 2021, Pontegadea earned $647 million from rentals. The amount has only increased since then as the Spanish businessman has continued to expand his sprawling real estate portfolio.

Private Jet and Superyachts

Amancio Ortega owns a Global Express BD-700 private jet manufactured by Bombardier. The jet is valued at $45 million, although it is said he doesn’t vacation often, preferring to work.

In 2012, Ortega took delivery of Drizzle, a 67-meter superyacht built by Feadship. Worth $80 million, the vessel’s annual running costs are estimated at $8 million. 47-meter Valoria B is another yacht in his fleet, which is kept closer to his home for local use and is worth around $45 million.

Amancio Ortega Net Worth: Other Businesses Also Contribute to His Wealth

While Ortega is mainly known for his association with the Inditex group and his real estate investments which make him the biggest real estate investor in Europe, he has also invested in some other businesses.

These include multiple partnerships with the Spanish energy company Repsol. Last year, Ortega took a 49% stake in a 618 MW renewable portfolio for around $390 million.

Previously, in November 2021, Pontegadea took stakes in the Delta wind farms (Zaragoza, Aragon) for $264 million, and the following year, took a minority stake in the Kappa photovoltaic complex (Manzanares, Castile-La Mancha) for $30 million.

Pontegadea owns a 5% stake in Red Electrica, which makes him the largest private investor in Spain’s electricity grid operator. In 2022, Ortega along with Spain’s Telefonica SA bought the latter’s 40% stake in its unit Telxius from private equity giant KKR. Ortega owns a 30% stake in Telexius, valued at over $200 million.

The Amancio Ortega Foundation

Like many fellow billionaires, Amancio Ortega has founded a philanthropic organization named Fundación Amancio Ortega, or the Amancio Ortega Foundation, which works in the field of education and social welfare. The organization’s actions contribute to compliance with Sustainable Development Goals approved by the United Nations General Assembly, which include:

  • End poverty in all its forms
  • Ensure a healthy life and well-being for all
  • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

In 2022, the foundation invested €53.2 million ($55.86 million at the time), of which the majority was towards social welfare. The foundation donated $344 million to Spanish public hospitals in 2017 to provide the latest technology in breast cancer treatment. He also donated around $68 million during the COVID-19 pandemic.

amancio ortega leisure
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What Can We Learn from Amancio Ortega’s Life?

Amancio Ortega has maintained quite a low profile, unlike many billionaires. He is quite introverted despite running a major fashion retailer and is not often seen in public functions. As surprising as it may sound, there were no public photographs of him until 1999.

His life is a lesson in humility as despite being among the richest men globally – and having been the world’s richest person briefly in 2016, surpassing Bill Gates – he has stayed away from the limelight. He reportedly ate lunch with other employees at the company’s cafeteria daily, which is something we almost never see with billionaires of his stature.

Amancio Ortega came from a humble background and had a difficult childhood, but through his resolve, he made it big in the fashion industry, building one of the world’s largest clothing retailers with a global reach.

His success story is not of instant fame but is a lesson in perseverance and hard work. The common thread between successful people, including Amancio Ortega, is that they had to face hardships, overcome them, and learn from their mistakes.

Both Ortega and the Inditex fashion group have made a lot of improvements over the years. According to Ortega, “It’s the main objective… the growth of the Inditex group. Its daily task is marked by self-improvement and the continual search for new opportunities.”

Ortega is also a champion of innovation which has helped Zara remain one of the most successful fashion brands despite so many headwinds at the macro level, including rising competition and the growing penetration of ecommerce. The company has adapted well to the new environment and is now among the biggest ecommerce sellers.

Meanwhile, given his introverted nature, not much is known about Ortega, and as a Zara employee told The Economist in 2016, “the true story of Amancio Ortega has not been told.”