Europe’s wealthiest man, Bernard Arnault,has lost an astonishing $30billion during the Covid-19 pandemic losing more money than any other individual in the world
The third-richest billionaire worldwide, wealth has plunged. With LVMH shares down 19% this year, his net worth has shrunk by more than $30 billion.
According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index,the Frenchman, 71, is the chairman and CEO of the prestigious luxury empire LVMH Moët Hennessy and oversees a portfolio of 70 luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton and Sephora. As of May 6, he had lost about as much money as Amazon.com Inc. Chairman Jeff Bezos had gained.
His flagship Louis Vuitton brand is estimated by analysts to have a profit margin as high as 45%. The mark-ups on that brand’s monogrammed trunks and handbags, as well as from other golden-goose products like Hennessy Cognac and Dom Perignon Champagne, have helped fuel Arnault’s expanding presence in most things rich people spend money on: Whether they buy a Fendi handbag, a Bulgari watch, or stay at Venice’s Hotel Cipriani, they’re adding to Arnault’s coffers.
The father of five is currently worth $77billion according to the Index, which is updated daily.
Arnault is also due to pay out $16billion after striking a deal in November last year for the jewellery group Tiffany & Co, Bloomberg added, which is believed to be the largest luxury acquisition ever.
Most of Arnault’s fashion boutiques around the world have shut down for more than a month, leading to billions in missed revenue in his most profitable division. The maker of a fifth of the world’s Champagne is selling a lot less of it with parties and concerts canceled and nightclubs and restaurants closed. J’adore Dior perfume is less of a priority for the world’s masked masses
“You could divide the world’s top billionaires into highly successful risk managers and highly successful risk takers; Arnault is a highly successful risk taker,” said Pauline Brown, the former chairman of LVMH Americas. “When he feels momentum and long-term potential, he uses the resources he has to go after it aggressively.
The industry’s fate, and Arnault’s with it, will largely depend on China, a market that’s made up more than one-third of luxury sales and two-thirds of the sector’s growth in recent years.