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Bernard Arnault: Biography and The Story Owner of the Louis Vuitton S.A. Brand

Bernard Arnault is known as a French business magnate and investor who owns the Louis Vuitton brand. Bernard Arnault is known to be one of the richest people in the world. He has been the chairman and chief executive of the LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy Company since 1989. He is also a major shareholder in the company.

This business led him to become one of the richest people in the world. How is his life journey? The following is the profile and biography of Bernard Arnault, one of the richest people in the world.

Bernard Arnault Biography

Bernard Arnault was born with the full name Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault on March 5, 1949, in Roubaix, France. He is the son of Jean Leon Arnault. His father was a manufacturer who owned a civil engineering company, Ferret-Savinel. Stay up-to-date with Deltsapure! Provide accurate and updated news for readers.

Bernard is known to have studied at Maxence Van Der Meersch High School in Roubaix, France. After finishing school, he continued his education at the prestigious École Polytechnique and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1971.

Bernard Arnault’s Business Career History

After graduating from college, he then joined his father’s company. Bernard then began planning the company’s expansion and growth. In 1976, he convinced his father to liquidate the company’s construction division and invest the proceeds in more profitable businesses.

The Arnault family then received 40 million French francs from the liquidation of the construction division. They then invested the proceeds in the real estate business, which at that time was a booming sector.

The company later changed its name to Ferinel; now, it is very successful in the field of holiday accommodation.

Bernard Arnault became the company’s development director in 1974. After that, he was appointed CEO of the company in 1977. He succeeded his father as president of the company in 1979.

When the French Socialists came to power in 1981, Arnault and his family were forced to move to the United States. There, he became a clever businessman and was successful. He developed condominiums in Palm Beach, Florida.

Finally, he started to build a property business branch in the United States. Then, the political scenario in his home country, France, changed in 1983.

Acquired the Christian Dior Brand

At that time, the French Socialists switched to a more conservative economic path, and Arnault decided to return to his country. Bernard Arnault saw a profitable opportunity when the textile company Boussac Saint-Frères went bankrupt. The textile empire has several businesses, including the Christian Dior fashion house.

Bernard Arnault then collaborated with Antoine Bernheim, a Lazard Fréres investment company manager. Antonie then managed Arnault’s acquisition of Boussac.

Bernard Arnault then invested 15 million US dollars of his own money. After acquiring Boussac, Arnault sold most of the company’s assets. He only retained the prestigious Christian Dior brand and the Le Bon Marché department store.

Bernard Arnauld later became CEO of Dior in 1985. After selling most of Boussac’s assets, Arnault earned $400 million in the sale process.
Investing LVMH (Louis Vuitton S.A)

In 1987, he was invited to invest in LVMH or Louis Vuitton S.A. by the company’s chairman, Henri Racamier. Bernard Arnault then chose to invest through a joint venture with Guinness PLC, which owns 24% of LVMH shares. Over the next few years, he continued to buy and control many shares of the LVHM company.

Bernard Arnault is known to have spent several hundred million dollars in the process of becoming the largest shareholder in the company. In January 1989, Arnault had obtained 43.5% of LVMH shares with 35% voting rights on the company’s board. He was unanimously elected as chairman of the executive management board.

LVMH’s Largest Shareholder

Bernard Arnault fired several company executives after taking over LVMH or Louis Vuitton S.A.. He then chose to recruit new talent to revitalize the LVMH company. Bernard Arnault is known to have a tough managerial style.

He is also known for his tendency to fire employees who do not deliver according to his expectations. After mastering LVMH, Bernard began implementing the company’s ambitious plans and business expansion.

Acquired Dozens of Luxury Brand Companies

Several years later, Bernard acquired several other companies during the 90s, including perfume companies Guerlain (1994), Loewe (1996), Marc Jacobs (1997), Sephora (1997), and Thomas Pink (1999).

Since being led by Bernard Arnault, the LVMH company has had more than 70 subsidiaries, including Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Dom Perignon Champagne, TAG Heuer, and Rimowa.

In November 2019, LVMH completed a $16.2 billion deal when it acquired the Tiffany & Co brand. Arnault’s LVMH even recorded the company’s largest revenue record of 59 billion US dollars in 2018.

How much is Bernard Arnault Net Worth?

Bernard Arnault net worth is accelerating faster than many other billionaires. As of 2015, Bernard Arnault had a net worth of $37.5 billion. In 2019, his wealth grew to more than $31.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In 2024, his net worth reached 225.7 billion USD.

Third Richest Person in the World

In March 2019, Bernard Arnault overtook Warren Buffett as the third richest person in the world. A few months later, Bernard briefly surpassed Bill Gates to become the second richest person in the world before dropping back to third place.

According to Bloomberg magazine, Bernard Arnault is the third richest person globally, with a net worth estimated at 97.7 billion US dollars. He is the richest person in Europe by far.

Personal life

Arnault married Anne Dewavrin in 1973, and they had two children before divorcing in 1990. Arnault then remarried Helene Mercier, a Canadian concert pianist, in 1991.

This French billionaire and his wife live on the Left Bank of Paris in the region south of the River Seine, France. Arnault kept a collection of modern and contemporary art in their home from artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Maurizio Cattelan, Andy Warhol, and Pablo Picasso.

Arnault has five children from his two wives, two from his first wife and three with his current wife. Antoine Arnault and Delphine Arnault are his two children from his first marriage.

Over the years, Arnault has built LVMH, which has become a conglomerate of the largest luxury brand businesses in the world. He even earned the nickname “the wolf in the cashmere jacket.

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