Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

# 388 Thomas Kristiansen $5.11B

Random fact: Sister owns a 1,400 acre deer park, the largest in Denmark.

Overview

Kristiansen is the deputy chairman of Lego, Europe's largest toymaker. The Billund, Denmark-based company makes more than 60 billion toy pieces annually and had revenue of more than $5.8 billion in 2018. He holds his stake through family investment vehicle Kirkbi, which also owns half of Merlin Entertainments Group.

As of :
Last change -$34.0M ( -0.7%)
YTD change +$789M ( +18.3%)
Industry Consumer
Biggest asset Lego
Citizenship Denmark
Age 40
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Thomas Kristiansen's net worth of $5.11B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
0
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Kristiansen's fortune is derived from his 18.8% economic interest in Lego, Europe's largest toymaker. His stake in the closely held company is controlled through Kirkbi, a Billund, Denmark-based holding company.

Kirkbi owns 75% of Lego, according to its 2018 annual report. Kristiansen, his father, Kjeld Kristiansen, and his two siblings each own 25% of Kirkbi, according to the group's spokeswoman, Ulla Lundhus. Prior to March 8, 2018, Kristiansen was assumed in this analysis to have a 16.3 percent stake in the company. His stake was raised to 25% on this date leading to a $1.4 billion increase in the net worth calculation.

Lego had revenue of 36 billion Danish krone ($5.8 billion) in 2018, according to its annual report. Its valuation is based on the average enterprise value-to-sales and price-to-earnings multiples of one peer: Hasbro.

Kirkbi also half of Merlin Entertainments Group, according to a June 2019 press release announcing Kirkbi's involvement in the privatization of Merlin. Kirkbi's public holdings include Matas, ISS, NKT Holding and Nilfisk Holding.

Kristiansen receives licensing fees and dividends from Lego, as disclosed in Kirkbi's annual reports. The value of his cash holdings and closely held investments is based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and charitable contributions. His liabilities include his share of Kirkbi's debt to Lego, as detailed in the 2018 annual report.

Roar Rude Trangbaek, a Lego spokesman, said Kristiansen declined to comment on his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 1/1/1979
Family: Married, No children

Thomas Kirk Kristiansen was born in 1979, the great-grandson of Ole Kirk Kristiansen, who founded toymaker Lego in 1932. The Billund, Denmark-based company produces more than 60 billion of its bricks annually. Father Kjeld ran the company for 25 years beginning in 1979 and built it into a global brand, which involved an expansion into Legoland themeparks in the 1990s and adding operations in the U.K., Germany and the U.S.

In the early 2000s, disappointing sales and competition from Hasbro and Mega Bloks saw Lego post its third annual loss in five years. Kristiansen began to implement a turnaround plan, shedding 1,000 jobs and pruning product lines, before stepping aside in 2004.

The company sold its 70 percent economic interest in its theme park business to private equity firm Blackstone in 2005. Kirkbi took an initial 15 percent stake in the newly formed Merlin Entertainments Group, which was increased to 36 percent in 2010. The company listed on the London Stock Exchange in November 2013. Kirkbi retains a 30 percent stake.

Kjeld Kristiansen served as first deputy chairman of Lego until April 2016, when he said that Thomas would succeed him in the role as the first step towards a "smooth generational handover." Thomas also assumed his father's position as chairman of The Lego Foundation, which owns 25 percent of the toymaker.

The billionaire lives in Denmark.

Milestones
  • 1932 Great-grandfather Ole Kirk Kristiansen founds toymaker Lego.
  • 1947 Father, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen is born in Billund, Denmark.
  • 1958 The Lego stud-and-tube building brick we know today is released.
  • 1998 Company posts its first loss, prompting a reorganization and job cuts.
  • 1999 Lego brick named "Toy of the Century" by Fortune magazine.
  • 2004 Kjeld Kristiansen steps aside as CEO on annual loss of $330 million.
  • 2004 Joergen Vig Knudstorp named CEO of Lego. First year of turnaround.
  • 2005 Private equity firm buys Lego's theme parks for $457 million.
  • 2013 Lego's strong annual results make it world's most valuable toymaker.
  • 2013 Theme park operator Merlin lists on the London Stock Exchange.