Louis Vuitton owner Bernard Arnault supplants Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world

Bernard Arnault
  • Louis Vuitton owner Bernard Arnault has surpassed Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world.
  • Arnault’s 47% stake in the luxury goods owner is now worth $US196 ($AU267) billion as of Thursday.
  • Bezos is worth about $US186 ($AU253) billion, while Tesla’s Elon Musk is worth more than $US160 ($AU218) billion.
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Move over Jeff Bezos. Luxury goods owner Bernard Arnault is now the richest person in the world, based on the current stock price of Louis Vuitton.

Arnault, who has been chairman of Louis Vuitton since he acquired a 44% stake in the brand conglomerate in the late 1980’s, is worth $US196 ($AU267) billion as of Thursday. That’s slightly more than Jeff Bezos’ net worth of about $US186 ($AU253) billion, according to Forbes.

Combined with a family holdings company, Arnault now owns 47% of Louis Vuitton, which had a total market value of $US416 ($AU567) billion as of Thursday. The company, which owns brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Bulgari, Tag Heuer, Sephora, and Hennessy, has seen its stock price soar more than 30% year-to-date.

Louis Vuitton has seen a resurgence since the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of its brands setting record sales and profits in the first half of 2021. The company saw second quarter revenue hit $US17.4 ($AU24) billion, up 14% from pre-pandemic levels.

Amazon’s post-earnings slump of more than 7% last week helped catapult Arnault to the top spot, as Bezos saw his net worth decline by about $US14 ($AU19) billion in a single day.

Rounding out third place for the world’s richest person is Elon Musk, whose 22.4% Tesla stake and SpaceX holdings makes him worth more than $US160 ($AU218) billion.

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