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Bernard Arnault’s Fortune Surges Nearly $3 Billion Since Tiffany Deal

Kristin Stoller
Bernard Arnault’s Fortune Surges Nearly $3 Billion Since Tiffany Deal

Just one day after Bernard Arnault’s French luxury group LVMH struck a deal to buy American jeweler Tiffany & Co., the billionaire’s fortune is up 2.8%, or $2.85 billion. After a brief period as the world’s second-richest person earlier Tuesday, Arnault ended the day at number three, worth $107.4 billion, according to Forbes’ Real Time Billionaire rankings.

Shares of LVMH opened 1% higher Monday morning following the announcement and continued to climb on Tuesday. The stock increase put Arnault’s net worth ahead of Bill Gates’ at multiple points Tuesday, allowing him to briefly become the second-richest person in the world.

However, as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Gates was in the No. 2 spot with a net worth of $107.5 billion, just $100 million more than Arnault’s $107.4 billion.

This is the second time this month that Arnault has taken the second-place spot from Gates. The two still lag behind Jeff Bezos, whose current net worth of $111.7 billion makes him the richest person on Earth.

Arnault, who was recently profiled in a Forbes cover story, got his start at his family’s Roubaix construction firm in the 1970s. He launched his luxury empire in 1984 with the acquisition of Boussac, a bankrupt French disposable diaper and textile business that included moribund fashion house Christian Dior. Six years later he took control of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy.

The $16.2 billion acquisition of Tiffany is his group’s largest yet. LVMH will acquire the iconic jeweler for $135 per share in cash—almost $2 billion higher than the initial bid LVMH made in October. Tiffany will join LVMH’s more than 70 luxury brands, which include Fendi, Bulgari, Dom Pérignon and Givenchy.

“We have an immense respect and admiration for Tiffany and intend to develop this jewel with the same dedication and commitment that we have applied to each and every one of our Maisons,” Arnault said in a statement Monday. “We will be proud to have Tiffany sit alongside our iconic brands and look forward to ensuring that Tiffany continues to thrive for centuries to come.”

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