‘If we bargain in the topic of health, of infancy, of education, we are doing ourselves no favours’.Rosalia Mera, ZARA cofounder.
Rosalia Mera, World's Richest Self-Made Woman, Dies At 69
Erin Carlyle, Forbes Staff / http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2013/08/16/rosalia-mera-worlds-richest-self-made-woman-dies-at-69/
Rosalia Mera, cofounder of Spanish brand Zara and the wealthiest self-made woman on the planet, has died. She was 69.
Mera was vacationing on the island of Menorca with her daughter, Sandra, according to the Spanish news site ABC.es, when she suffered a brain hemorrhage on Wednesday. She died 24 hours later, Spanish media is reporting. A statement on the website of Inditex parent company to Zara, acknowledges Mera’s death.
Mera dropped out of school at age 11 to work as a seamstress. With husband Amancio Ortega, she started making dressing gowns and lingerie in their living room. Together, the couple built their business into a 15.9 billion euro ($21 billion) global fashion empire, best known for its Zara brand. Ortega is now the fourth-richest person on the globe, with a net worth of $51.3 billion as of Thursday’s market close.
Mera was a billionaire, too, among the elite set of self-made women who could claim she’d earned her way onto the Forbes billionaires list. Although she and Ortega divorced long ago, Mera retained a 5.1% stake in the $21 billion (2012 sales) Inditex, the basis for her $6.1 billion net worth as of our latest Forbes count.
Mera diversified after the retailer’s 2001 IPO, which netted her $600 million at the time. She placed her money in causes dear to her heart: a marine fish farming group, a company that looks for cancer treatments in products from the ocean, and a maker of a fingerprinting system for newborns. She was also a major investor in London’s exclusive Bulgari Hotel, and runs a contest for young jazz musicians in Spain. Her Paideia Foundation works to integrate people with physical and mental disabilities, like her son Marcos, into larger society.
Mera is survived by her daughter, Sandra, and son, Marcos. Ortega’s youngest daughter, Marta, has a different mother.