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Louis Vuitton Head Takes Crown as world second richest person

Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH), the world’s largest luxury-goods company, is now the world second richest person with a personal fortune estimated at $107 billion by Forbes as of Tuesday.

Arnault is already the richest person in Europe and the richest person in fashion. He is the first European to be ranked number two by Forbes this century and has an outside chance at overtaking Jeff Bezos, whose net worth stood at $112.3 billion as of Tuesday afternoon.

Bezos, Arnault and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (net worth: $106.9 billion) are the world’s only three centibillionaires thus far.

Arnault, 70, was ranked the fourth richest person by Forbes back in March. His wealth at the time came to a mere $76 billion, which was even much smaller than his net worth of $100 billion at the end of 2016. Ahead of the Frenchman in the March 2019 list were Bezos, Gates and Warren Buffet, all of them Americans.

Since March, however, the stock of LVMH has skyrocketed by over a third. In late October, the stock again jumped following news LVMH was looking at acquiring Tiffany & Co., the iconic American luxury jewelry and specialty retailer based in New York City.

LVMH owns 79 brands and 60 subsidiaries encompassing fashion, perfumes and cosmetics, fine wine and spirits, watches and jewelry and selective retailing. Under Arnault, LVMH has made 20 acquisitions since 2008.

Included in LVMH are iconic fashion and luxury brands such as Givenchy, Christian Dior, Celine, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Ardberg, Givenchy Parfums, Parfums Christian Dior, Tag Heuer, Hublot, Sephora, Belmond and the Cheval Blanc hotels.

Last May, the fashion house Fenty (styled as FEИTY), created by pop singer, fashion designer and businesswoman Rihanna was launched by LVMH in Paris. Fenty is the first new fashion house by LVMH in 32 years. Rihanna, a Barbadian, is the first woman of color to head a brand under LVMH.

LVMH had a market cap of some $203 billion at the New York Stock Exchange as of the close of trading Tuesday compared to Amazon’s $893 billion and Microsoft’s $1.1 trillion.

Source : IBT

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