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Who is Bernard Arnault?

Bernard Arnault is Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group.

Bernard Arnault
Bernard Arnault

Born to an industrial family in Roubaix, France on March 5, 1949, Mr. Arnault attended the Roubaix lycée and the Faidherbe lycée in Lille. He then went on to study at the Ecole Polytechnique.

He began his professional career that year as an engineer with the Ferret-Savinel construction company and successively was promoted to various executive management positions before becoming Chairman in 1978.

Also read, Bernard Arnault’s Wife

Also Read, Bernard Aenault’s Wife.

Mr. Bernard Arnault remained there until 1984, when he undertook the reorganization of the Financière Agache holding company. He returned the group to profitability as he embarked upon a strategy of developing the world’s leading luxury products company. In the process, he reinvigorated Christian Dior as the cornerstone of the new organization.

In 1989, Mr. Arnault became the majority shareholder of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, creating the world’s leading luxury products group. Mr. Arnault has been Chairman and CEO of the company since that date.

Mr. Arnault is also President of the Board of Directors of Groupe Arnault S.E. (his family holding company).

Mr. Arnault is married and has five children.
He has been awarded the honorary titles of Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.

LVMH (Louis Vuitton)

man sitting on yellow chair with his dog

In July 1988, Arnault provided $1.5 billion to form a holding company with Guinness that held 24% of LVMH’s shares. In response to rumors that the Louis Vuitton group was buying LVMH’s stock to form a “blocking minority”, Arnault spent $600 million to buy 13.5% more of LVMH, making him LVMH’s largest shareholder. In January 1989, he spent another $500 million to gain control of a total of 43.5% of LVMH’s shares and 35% of its voting rights, thus reaching the “blocking minority” that he needed to stop the dismantlement of the LVMH group. On 13 January 1989, he was unanimously elected chairman of the executive management board.

Bernard Arnault as a investor

From 1998 to 2001, Arnault invested in a variety of web companies such as Boo.com, Libertysurf, and Zebank through his holding Europatweb. Groupe Arnault also invested in Netflix in 1999.

In 2007, Blue Capital announced that Arnault owns jointly with the California property firm Colony Capital 10.69% of France’s largest supermarket retailer and the world’s second-largest food distributor Carrefour.

In 2008, he entered the yacht business and bought Princess Yachts for 253 million euros. He subsequently took control of Royal van Lent for an almost identical amount.

In 1998, with businessman Albert Frère he purchased Château Cheval Blanc in a personal capacity. LVMH acquired Arnault’s share in 2009 to add to the group’s other wine property Château d’Yquem.

His Awards & Recognitions

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