Chairman and CEO of the luxury goods conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) Bernard Arnault is now the richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He has a staggering net worth that stands at USD 172 billion (approximately RM 758 billion), as on 15 December 2022. This makes one wonder how the business magnate spends his wealth and what the most expensive things owned by Bernard Arnault are. We take a look.
The French fashion mogul surpassed Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to grab the apex position on the billionaires’ index. While Musk’s net worth plummeted by USD 107 billion in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Twitter row, Arnault, too, suffered a dip — but a mild one — of USD 7 billion, CNN reported.
The current richest person on the planet has many luxe assets and a lifestyle that defines grandeur and opulence at every turn.
Here are some of the most expensive things owned by Bernard Arnault
Luxury purchases portfolio
He started his journey to the top in the 1980s when he first ventured into fashion with USD15 million (RM64 million) from his father’s construction business. He got the rest of USD65 million (RM275 million) financed from Lazard to buy Boussac – the then-parent company of Christian Dior – in 1985. Since then, Arnault has been acquiring luxury brands and earned nicknames like “the wolf in the cashmere coat” in French media.
In 1987, the conglomerate LVMH came into existence with the merger of Moët & Chandon and Hennessy, the world’s largest champagne and cognac producers, respectively. Bernard Arnault then went on to conquer leading European luxury brands, including couture-brand Givenchy (1988), French perfume, makeup and skincare giant Guerlain (1994), French leather luxury goods brand Céline (1996), the Italian jewellery brand Bvlgari (2011), Paris-based couture house Christian Dior (2017), American luxury jewellery and accessory brand Tiffany & Co. (2020) and Italian luxury label Off-White (2021), bringing the total to 75 stellar brands.
Apart from luxury brands, Bernard Arnault has taken the helm of other pursuits such as hotels, artwork, yachts and culture.
The year 2008 marks Arnault’s passion for yachts when he first acquired the luxury Dutch yacht building firm Royal Van Lent and famed British yacht manufacturer Princess Yachts International in a consortium for over EUR300 million (RM1.5 billion) and EUR 200 million (RM1 billion), respectively.
The luxury yacht named Symphony, owned by Arnault, is among the world’s top 100 superyachts and the largest Feadship. Symphony can accommodate 36 passengers and is the first Feadship to cross the 100-metre mark and measures 101.5 metres or about 333 feet.
Designed by Tim Heywood Design, Symphony is an eco-friendly yacht featuring six decks, an aluminium structure, has a gross tonnage of near 3,000 GT and a helicopter pad. The interior of the yacht, by Zuretti Interior Design, exudes luxury with a jacuzzi, sauna, lounge and dining area to accommodate 20 people. One of the decks includes a private office and study, beach club, cinema, golf area and wellness centre.
The French yacht enthusiast also owned Amadeus, a superyacht built in 1969, which was given a luxury makeover to host many prominent personalities such as former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and renowned rockstar Bono. It was later sold in 2015.
Wines and spirits
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LVMH’s 23 houses strive together to craft high-end cognacs, wines and champagnes around the world. The key brands include Moët & Chandon, Hennessy, Krug and Château d’Yquem.
Bernard Arnault reportedly owns Indigo Island, a 135-acre private island located in the Bahamas that offers retreats for the affluent at a whopping price of approximately USD300,000 (RM1.3 million) per week.
Known for his collection of world-class artworks, the French entrepreneur’s extensive collection of contemporary artwork includes paintings by Picasso, Andy Warhol and Henry Moore. His proximity to art and culture can be established by the fact that LVMH has ventured into many artistic pursuits, including the inception of the idea of the Foundation Louis Vuitton in 2001 — which opened for the public in 2014.
According to Bloomberg, Arnault keeps the collection of most famous artists in his Paris house.
Cheval Blanc and Belmond Hotel are owned by LVMH, which offer extravagance like no other. Cheval Blanc is a luxury hotel with 72 rooms and suites. The hotel also features on-site LV and Dior boutiques for luxury shopping.
LVMH has over 46 Belmond hotel properties across 24 countries and counting.
Arnault owns a massive chateau-style waterfront mansion in Saint-Tropez, France, featuring multiple bedrooms, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis court, movie theatre and separate quarters for staff.
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Bernard Arnault reportedly splashed USD40 million (RM170 million) on his private jet, Dassault Falcon 7X. Previously, he owned a Bombardier Global Express 6000. He also owns an ultra-long-range business jet Bombardier Global 7500 which can accommodate up to 19 passengers.
(Hero and Featured Image credit: Eric Piermont/AFP)