LMVH CEO Arnault joins exclusive $100-bn-plus club

July 03, 2019 - France

French multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy -Louis Vuitton SE chief executive officer and Europe’s richest person Bernard Arnault’s fortune is now worth $100.4 billion, an increase of nearly $32 billion this year—the largest net worth rise witnessed by anyone on the 500-member Bloomberg Billionaires Index this year. Arnault is 70.

Arnaut, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and principal founder of Microsoft Bill Gates are the only three people who have crossed the $100 billion threshold.

The rise in demand for Louis Vuitton handbags and Hennessy cognac in China helped raise LVMH’s share price by 43 per cent this year. His fortune, analysts say, now equals more than 3 per cent of France’s economy, according to global newswires.

Arnault controls about half of the empire through a family holding company. LVMH’s portfolio includes brands like Dom Pérignon, Louis Vuitton and Sephora and spans spirits, fashion, jewellery, retail and travel. In 1985, he bought Christian Dior, in which he holds a 97 per cent stake. (DS)