Bernard Arnault and family, owners of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), have dethroned Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest for a short duration on Monday. However Bezos reclaimed the spot later. Arnault’s net worth has been estimated at $186.2 billion, according to Forbes. The 72-year-old chairman and chief executive of LVMH’s fortune rose by $110 billion in the last one-and-half year, taking his overall net worth to $161.2 billion. Earlier this month, he had overtaken Tesla’s celebrity chief executive Elon Musk to become the world’s second richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, one of the world’s leading fashion luxury goods company, reported a 32% yearly surge in the revenue to 14 billion euros in the first quarter of 2021. In January, LVMH acquired America’s largest jewellery maker Tiffany & Co. for $15.8 million, largest deal in the luxury fashion business so far. The deal was designed to boost LVMH’s smallest business, the jewellery and watch division that is already home to Bulgari and Tag Heuer, and help it expand in one of the fastest-growing industry segments while also strengthening its US presence.
Bernard Arnault’s LVMH oversees an empire of 70 brands including Givenchy, Guerlain, Marc Jacobs, Sephora, Tiffany & Co., Emilio Pucci, Fendi, Loro Piana, Nicholas Kirkwood, Thomas Pink, R.M Williams, EDUN, Moynat and Donna Karen, along with a host of jewellery brands, including TAG Heuer, De Beers and Bulgari. Arnault owns a 96.5 per cent stake in Christian Dior, which controls 41 per cent of LVMH. He has spent about $538 million in recent months acquiring shares of the world’s largest luxury-goods maker, Bloomberg reported. The CEO bought the stock through companies that he and his family control.
The business tycoon entered the luxury goods market in 1984, when he took over the bankrupt textile group that owned Christian Dior. He sold all of the company’s other businesses and used the proceeds to buy a controlling stake in LVMH. In 1989, he became the majority shareholder of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, creating the world’s leading luxury products group. He has been chairman and chief executive of the company since that date.
Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires rankings tracks the daily ups and downs of the world’s richest people. The wealth-tracking platform provides ongoing updates on the net worth and ranking of each individual confirmed by Forbes to be a billionaire.