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- LVMH’s $16.2 billion acquisition of Tiffany & Co. could make the luxury conglomerate’s chairman, Bernard Arnault, the richest man on Earth, CNN’s Paul R. La Monica reported Tuesday.
- The $16.2 billion deal marks LVMH’s largest acquisition to date.
- Bernard Arnault currently has a net worth of $103 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That puts him $7 billion behind Bill Gates and $8 billion behind Jeff Bezos.
- Arnault’s net worth has surged over 49% – or $34.1 billion – in 2019 so far, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
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Jeff Bezos may have just reclaimed the title of the richest man on Earth from Bill Gates, but he may be in danger of losing it to another centi-billionaire – LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault.
A recent jump in LVMH’s share price could push Arnault’s net worth above that of both Bezos and Gates, CNN’s Paul R. La Monica reported Tuesday. Currently, Arnault’s net worth is $7 billion behind Gates and $8 billion behind Jeff Bezos, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Despite a recent history of stability, the wealth lists maintained by Forbes and Bloomberg have been unusually mobile in 2019 as the world’s three richest men have become even more wealthy. Arnault displaced Warren Buffett from the No. 3 spot in March, and in June, he became only the third person in human history to accumulate a fortune of over $100 billion, Business Insider previously reported.
In July, Gates was temporarily ranked as the world’s third-richest person behind Bezos and Arnault for the first time in at least seven years, according to Bloomberg. Then, in a surge in Microsoft’s stock price led Bill Gates to first overcome Arnault, and then temporarily end Jeff Bezos’ two-year reign as the richest person on Earth on November 19. Gates is now worth $110 billion.
Arnault just keeps getting richer
LVMH owns over 70 luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, TAG Heuer watches, Dom Perignon Champagne, and, most recently, Tiffany. LVMH first offered to buy Tiffany in October, in an attempt to expand into luxury jewelry. The $16.2 billion deal, announced Monday, shot LVMH shares up 1% and Arnault’s net worth right along with them.
Arnault’s net worth has surged over 49% – or $34.1 billion – in 2019 so far, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His net worth has risen $500 million since Thursday alone, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows. And in October, Arnault made $5.1 billion in the span of just 48 hours after a surge in share prices of his conglomerate
Arnault isn’t the only French billionaire to see his fortune grow rapidly in 2019. The personal fortunes of French billionaires have grown at more than twice the pace of the fortunes of their American and Chinese counterparts in 2019, Business Insider previously reported. Increasing Chinese demand for luxury goods has benefited Kering‘s Francois Pinault and L’Oréal‘s Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, in addition to Arnault.