LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is a French holding company that is owned by French billionaire, Bernard Arnault. Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimates his net worth at around 123.7 billion USD and Forbs estimates his family’s net worth at 160.8 billion USD. The majority of Arnault’s riches is due to the controlling stake he has in LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. LVMH is a multinational company that is headquartered in Paris, France. The company specializes in luxury goods.
The company was formed in 1987 due to the merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton which was founded in 1854, with the luxury liquor manufacturers Moet Hennessy, which was established after the merger of champagne producer Moet and Chandon and cognac producer Hennessy in 1971. In total, LVMH controls around 60 subsidiaries with each subsidiary managing a small amount of prestigious brands, 75 in total. LVMH is the controlling company of luxury brands like Christian Dior , Bulgari and Fenty.
The multinational holding company’s subsidiaries are often run by independent management. They are all run under the umbrella of 6 branches. These branches are Fashion Group, Wines and Spirits, Perfumes and Cosmetics, Watches and jewellery, Selective Distribution and Other Activities. The oldest LVMH brand dates back to 1593, the wine producer Château d’Yquem.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton–History
Bernard Arnault had the idea to create a group of luxurious brands in the 1990s. The French billionaire’s successful integration of various popular and famous brands into a single group inspired other luxury companies to do the same. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has acquired many luxury brands since its creation.
The headquarters of LVMH is located in the eight arrondissement of Paris, France. It is listed on the Euronext Paris exchange. The group had revenues 20.3 billion Euros with a net income of 3 billion Euros as of 2010. The currently employ over 83,000 individuals and around 30% of LVMH staff work in France. The luxury goods company operates 2400 stores worldwide. Their current business plan aims to tightly manage the brands which it controls in order to maintain and strengthen the perception of luxury related to their products. An example of this is the fact that Louis Vuitton products are only sold through Louis Vuitton boutiques in upper market locations in wealthy cities or in concessions in other luxury goods shops across the world.
The end of 2017 was when the Arnault Family Group was declared as the majority shareholder of LVMH. This is the holding company of Bernard Arnault. The group controlled 46.84% of LVMH’s stock with a 63.13% share of the voting rights. 66% of Moet Hennessy( the drinks devision of the LVMH Group) is owned by LVMH with the remainder of 34% belonging to Diageo.
The main holding company of LVMH is Christian Dior SE and it owns 40.9% of LVMH’s shares plus 59.01% of its voting rights. Bernard is CEO and majority shareholder of both companies and in 2017 he purchased all the remaining Christian Dior shares in a reported 13.1 billion dollar buyout.
A summary of the life of Bernard Arnault and his involvement with LVMH
Bernard Jean Etienne Arnault was born on the March 5, 1949. He is a French Billionaire , businessman and art collector. He is the chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE which is the world’s largest luxury goods company. In 2018 Bernard was declared the richest person in fashion. He topped Zara’s Amancio Ortega for the spot. He briefly surpassed Jeff Bezos in 2019 to become the richest person in the world. Bernard has a total net worth of US 123.7 billion dollars and his family’s total net worth is estimated to be 160.8 billion dollars.
Bernard Arnault was born in Roubaix, France. His father (Jean Leon Arnault) was a graduate of Ecole Centrale Paris and his mother (Marie-Josèphe Savinel) was very fascinated with Dior. Her father is Étienne Savinel. He entrusted the management of his civil engineering company Ferret-Savinel to Bernard’s father in 1950 and Jean would eventually become the company’s owner. Ferret-Savinel later became Ferinel, and then the George V Group, before selling its real estate assets to Compagnie Générale des Eaux (CGE), and the real estate business eventually became Nexity.
Arnault went to school at the Lycée Maxence Van Der Meersch in Roubaix and matriculated to Lycée Faidherbe in Lille. He graduated from École Polytechnique in 1971. The school is France’s leading engineering school. He would later begin to work for his father’s engineering company. Bernard Arnault was the president of his father’s company from 1978 to 1984.
Arnault acquired Financière Agache (which is a luxury goods company) in 1984 with the help of Antoine Bernheim, a senior partner of Lazard Frères. He became the company’s CEO and later took control of Boussac Saint-Frères which was a textile company in turmoil. Boussac owned Christian Dior, the department store Le Bon Marché, the retail shop Conforama, and the diapers manufacturer Peaudouce. He sold nearly all the company’s assets, keeping only the Christian Dior brand and Le Bon Marché department store.
How was LVMH formed?
Bernard Arnault partnered with Guinness and provided 1.5 billion to form a holding company in 1988. 24% of LVMH’s shares were owned by Guinness. 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. He would later spend a further 500 million to gain control of a total of 43.5% of LVMH’s shares and 35% of its voting rights.
He reached the “blocking minority” that he needed to stop the dismantlement of the LVMH group. He was unanimously elected chairman of the executive management board on January 13 1989. Since then, Arnault has led the company through an ambitious development plan, transforming it into one of the largest luxury groups in the world, alongside Swiss luxury giant Richemont and French-based Kering.
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