Bernard Arnault’s Net Worth 2023: Does He Own Gucci?

bernard arnault net worth

French business magnate, Bernard Arnault has a net worth estimated at $223 billion, according to Forbes. He surpassed Elon Musk as the world’s wealthiest person on December 13, 2022. He has been among the world’s richest people, alongside the likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates, for the majority of his adult life. But this article will go beyond an analysis of Bernard Arnault’s net worth, we will also cover and explore his background, early life, and how he made groundbreaking records.

Bernard Arnault Net Worth: What Is the LVMH Company and Who Is Bernard Arnault?

According to CNN, Bernard Arnault’s success story begins in Roubaix, France, where he was raised and began his career at his family’s construction company, Ferret-Savinel.

After several years of working his way up the ranks, he invested in the textile group Boussac Saint-Freres in 1984, which was known for owning Christian Dior and was on the verge of bankruptcy.

He set out to return the brand to profitability and dominate the luxury retail market, particularly after purchasing LVMH in 1989, which was formed by the merger of Louis Vuitton and Mot Hennessy.

Arnault has served as the company’s chairman and CEO since the acquisition and is still very much involved in the business today. LVMH currently owns 75 brands with 5,500 stores worldwide, including wine, spirits, fashion, leather goods, perfumes, cosmetics, watches, jewelry, and luxury travel. With the $15.8 billion purchase of Tiffany & Co. in 2021, the company completed its largest brand takeover ever. Givenchy, Fendi, and Stella McCartney are among the other notable brands in the group.

Bernard Arnault’s Net Worth 2023

According to Forbes, he is the world’s wealthiest person. According to the most recent data, Bernard Arnault’s net worth in 2023 is $220.4 billion. LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company, is led by Bernard Arnault. Bernard Arnault and his family also own 47.5 percent of Louis Vuitton Mot Hennessy, which currently owns over 70 brands. LVMH is not only a French company, but also the world’s largest luxury goods company, with over 60 subsidiaries.

Christian Dior, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Sephora, Tag Heuer, Bulgari, and Tiffany & Co. are among them. Bernard Arnault’s company deals in wine, champagne, spirits, fashion and leather goods, watches, jewelry, perfumes, and cosmetics. They have approximately 6000 retail stores worldwide.

LVMH generated €64 billion ($68 billion) in 2022 sales and has a market value of €364 billion ($386 billion), according to Bloomberg.

Despite having amassed a massive fortune, Arnault shows no signs of slowing down — LVMH raised its CEO age limit from 75 to 80 in early 2022, implying he’ll be in charge for at least another couple of years.

While Arnault has the means to live largely, he appears to prefer a low-key existence. According to Bloomberg, he recently sold LVMH’s private jet after it was tracked on Twitter.

According to the outlet, Arnault is an avid art collector with an estimated $10.3 billion in cash and other assets.

Wealth Specifics

As the CEO of LVMH, Bernard Arnault made his fortune. Arnault bought Christian Dior out of bankruptcy in the 1980s. He then used Dior’s profits and increased valuation to form a conglomerate of luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Moet, Hennessy (hence “LVMH”), Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Tag Heuer, Bulgari, and Tiffany & Co. LVMH now houses approximately 60 brands and generates $70 billion in revenue per year. LVMH has a market capitalization of $384 billion as of this writing.

Bernard and the Arnault family’s extended family still own 97% of Dior directly, and Dior owns 41% of LVMH. The family also directly owns an additional 7% of LVMH. They control more than half of all voting rights.

Aside from LVMH, Bernard owns two wineries in France, Princess Yachts, 5% of Carrefour, France’s largest supermarket chain, and a multibillion-dollar art collection that includes works by Picasso and Warhol.

Bernard Arnault’s net worth surpassed $100 billion for the first time in June 2019. He was the third-richest person on the planet at the time. In July 2019, his net worth surpassed $108 billion, making him the world’s second-richest person, roughly $400 million ahead of Bill Gates. In December 2022, his $171 billion net worth surpassed Elon Musk’s $168 billion net worth, making him the world’s richest person.

Bernard’s Early Years Jean Étienne Arnault was born in Roubaix, France, on March 5, 1949. Jean Léon Arnault, his father, was a manufacturer and a graduate of École Centrale Paris. His mother, Marie-Josèphe Savinel, was the daughter of the civil engineering firm Ferret-Savinel owner Étienne Savinel. In 1950, Savinel handed over Ferret-Savinel management to his son-in-law Jean Léon Arnault (Bernard’s father) and later gave him ownership of the company. He graduated from the École Polytechnique, France’s top engineering school, in 1971.

Bernard Arnault’s Career

Bernard Jean Etienee Arnault studied engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris and later worked as an engineer for his family’s construction company, Ferret-Savinel. He moved to America with his entire prover in 1981 after working for this company for many years. Later that year, in 1984, he purchased the bankrupt French textile group Boussac Saint-Frères from French luxury designer Christian Dior. He made his debut in the world of luxury goods with this.

After a few years of running Saint-Frères, he sold most of his business and bought a majority stake in LVMH, the new company formed by the merger of Louis Vuitton and Mot Hennessy. His primary goal at the time was to profit from these shares. Bernard Arnault became LVMH’s largest shareholder in 1989 and has served as its chairman and CEO since then.

Family Enterprise

Arnault began working at his father’s company, Ferret-Savinel, after graduating in 1971. (which was previously owned by his maternal grandfather). He was named president of the company in 1978 and served in that capacity until 1984. While at Ferret-Savinel, he helped steer the company away from construction and toward real estate, which proved to be a profitable business move.

Luxury Items

Bernard acquired the luxury goods company Financiere Agache in 1984 with the assistance of Antoine Bernheim. He took over as CEO of Financiere Agache and then rescued the textile company Boussac Saint-Freres from bankruptcy. Boussac owned numerous brands and stores, including Christian Dior and the department store Le Bon Marche. Except for Dior and Le Bon Marche, Arnault sold all of Boussac’s assets.

Bernard and his family still own 97% of Dior directly.


Bernard went on a luxury brand shopping spree using Dior’s increased value and profits. Bernard founded LVMH, an umbrella company that owns the merged luxury fashion houses Louis Vuitton and Mot Henessy, in 1987. In July 1988, he made a $1.5 billion contribution and formed a holding company with Guinness to acquire 24% of LVMH’s shares.

Rumors circulated that the Louis Vuitton group was planning to buy up LVMH stock in order to form a “blocking minority,” so Arnault spent another $600 million to counter them. As a result of this transaction, he became the largest shareholder in LVMH. He wasn’t finished, however, and in January 1989 he spent even more money, this time $500 million, to purchase more shares. Bernard possessed 43.5% of LVMH’s shares and 35% of its voting rights at the time. He used his power to prevent the LVMH group from being dismantled, and he has since led the conglomerate through a transformation that has positioned it as one of the world’s largest leading luxury groups.

LVMH expanded dramatically under Arnault. Not only did sales and profit increase by a factor of 5, but the company’s market value increased by a factor of 15. Despite the fact that the conglomerate owns a large number of brands (75 as of June 2020), Arnault has continued to promote a decentralized approach to the brands, allowing them to be viewed as independent brands and firms with their own histories and stories. Céline (acquired in 1988); Berluti (in 1993); Kenzo (in 1993); Guerlain (in 1994); Loewe (in 1996); Marc Jacobs (in 1997); Sephora (in 1997); Thomas Pink (in 1999); Emilio Pucci (in 2000); and Fendi are some of the other brands owned by LVMH (in 2001).

Other Investing

Apart from LVMH, Arnault has his fingers in a variety of other pies. Between 1998 and 2001, he invested in several web companies through his holding company Europatweb, including, Libertysurg, and Zebank. In 1999, he invested in Netflix through his investment firm Groupe Arnault. Arnault and the California real estate firm Colony Capital purchased 10.69% of Carrefour in 2007. Carrefour is France’s largest supermarket retailer and the world’s second-largest food distributor. He has also become involved in the yachting industry. He paid €253 million for Princess Yachts in 2008. Then, for nearly the same sum of money, he took control of Royal van Lent.

The Art Collection

Arnault, on the other hand, is known for his keen interest in art collecting, for example. Arnault has sponsored artistic exhibitions in France featuring internationally renowned artists such as abstract painter Pablo Picasso and Pop Art pioneer Andy Warhol through LVMH.

Private Life

Arnault married Anne Dewavrin in 1973; they divorced in 1990. They have two children together. He married Canadian concert pianist Hélène Mercier in 1990. They are the parents of three children. Following the devastating fire that damaged Paris’s historic Notre-Dame Cathedral in 2019, Arnault and his family pledged €200 million euros to assist with repair and restoration efforts.

Does Bernard Arnault own Gucci?

On January 6, 1999, it was revealed to the public that LVMH had purchased a stake in Gucci equal to five percent. Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH, was adamant that it was a passive stake, and he had every intention of allowing Gucci to continue operating as an independent brand. By January 26, 1999, Arnault had raised LVMH’s share of the company’s ownership to 34.4 percent.

In September 1999, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, which is now known as Kering, reached an agreement with LVMH to purchase the majority of the stake in the Gucci Group for the price of $806 million. During this same time period, LVMH made an announcement that it intended to sell its remaining shares in Gucci, which totaled approximately 12 million, to a financial institution by the end of the year.

Bernard Arnault’s Net Worth: References

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