Danish billionaire loses three children in Sri Lanka blasts

Danish media have reported that Holch Povlsen his wife Anne and their four children were in Sri Lanka on vacation at the moment of the attacks (AFP Photo/Tariq Mikkel Khan)

Copenhagen (AFP) - Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen lost three of his four children in the Easter day attacks in Sri Lanka, a spokesman for his clothing retail group Bestseller said on Monday.

Danish media have reported that Holch Povlsen, his wife Anne and their four children were in Sri Lanka on vacation at the moment of the attacks, which struck churches and luxury hotels killing nearly 300 people.

"I can confirm that three children have been killed," Jesper Stubkier, the communications manager for Bestseller, said in a statement.

"We ask you to respect the privacy of the family and we therefore have no further comments."

Considered to be Denmark's richest man, 46-year-old Holch Povlsen is the main shareholder in the online fashion retailer ASOS as well as the owner of Bestseller.

He inherited Bestseller from his parents who founded the firm in 1975.

The group, which includes brands such as Vero Moda, Only and Jack & Jones, has more than 3,000 stores in 70 countries.

In addition to the majority stake in Britain-based ASOS, Holch Povlsen also owns an interest in its German rival Zalando.

The billionaire also describes himself as "one of Scotland's largest landowners" on the website of the Wildland company he uses to invest in UK property.

"We wish to restore our parts of the (Scotland) Highlands to their former magnificent natural state and repair the harm that man has inflicted on them," Holch Povlsen and his wife say on the website.

"There are many vulnerable properties across all of the holdings that we have the wonderful and privileged opportunity to rehabilitate and restore to life."

Sri Lankan officials said Monday they believe that the local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) was behind the attacks.

Dozens of foreigners are among those killed, while some 500 people were injured.