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French luxury king Bernard Arnault surpasses Elon Musk to become richest man in the world

Billionaire Bernard Arnault has surpassed Tesla CEO Elon Musk to become the richest man in the world.  CEO of global luxury goods company LVMH, Arnault and his family’s net worth grew to $207.8 billion after an increase of  $23.6 billion, exceeding Musk’s $204.5 billion mark, as per Forbes real-time billionaires list.

French luxury king Bernard Arnault surpasses Elon Musk to become richest man in the world gcw
First Published Jan 28, 2024, 10:02 AM IST

Bernard Arnault, the French tycoon behind luxury giant LVMH, has dethroned Elon Musk as the world's richest person, according to Forbes' real-time billionaires list. Driven by a 23.6 billion dollar spike, Arnault's net worth surpassed Musk's $204.5 billion on Friday, rising to $207.8 billion.

Musk's electric vehicle firm, Tesla, had a 13% stock market decline on Thursday, which reduced his net worth by more than $18 billion. Meanwhile, LVMH shares surged over 13% on Friday as a result of positive sentiment sparked by positive sales data.

The market cap of LVMH reached $388.8 billion on Friday, compared to Tesla’s $586.14 billion market cap, the Forbes report said.

The 74-year-old CEO of LVMH, Arnault, painstakingly acquired and cultivated renowned brands like Louis Vuitton, TAG Heuer, and Dom Pérignon to create his luxury empire over nearly 40 years. In addition, he has carefully included his five adult children into the company, resulting in a family-run enterprise that is similar to the popular HBO series "Succession".

In April, LVMH became the first European company to cross $500 billion in market valuation, a testament to the enduring allure of luxury goods even in turbulent economic times. 

In December 2022, when the difficulties facing the IT sector contrasted with the fortitude of luxury brands in the face of inflation, Arnault had his maiden run at the top place.

The highest luxury brand purchase ever occurred in 2021 when LVMH paid around $16 billion to acquire Tiffany & Co. In addition, Netflix and ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, are invested in by Aglaé Ventures, a venture capital firm supported by Arnault's holding company Agache. Outside of business, Arnault is an ardent art collector. His personal collection includes pieces by Matisse, Picasso, and Mondrian.

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