How luxury goods group LVMH keeps piling up the wealth for Bernard Arnault and his family


French businessman Bernard Arnault, the boss of the luxury goods group LVMH, has reached the peak of the Mount Everest of wealth. He is now firmly ensconced as the richest person in the world, far outstripping his rivals below. And his family's fortune just looks set to keep on growing. Every year the income from the family's capital stake in the group alone can be counted in the billions – vast sums which in turn generate yet more profits. Martine Orange examines the figures of this colossal money-making system.

Prosecutors call for France’s former spy chief to stand trial

France — Link

Bernard Squarcini and ten others await magistrates’ decision on hearing charges including influence peddling and forgery.

Senior French civil servant faces probe over luxury goods firm LVMH 'spying' affair

France — Investigation

Pierre Lieutaud, a prefect, works in a senior role at the Ministry of the Interior and has a long background in French intelligence. Mediapart has discovered that this top-level public servant has been formally placed under investigation in the case involving alleged “spying” by the luxury goods group LVMH. Fabrice Arfi reports.

Luxury goods group LVMH to pay 10m euros over spying activities

France — Link

French luxury goods group LVMH, whose wayward security service led by former domestic intelligence chief Bernard Squarcini was revealed to have spied on companies and people, including a leftwing documentary maker whose film was sharply critical of LVMH boss Bernard Arnault, has reached a 10 million-euro settlement with Paris prosecutors which effectively ends further legal action against it.

France's Champagne producers fizz over Russian 'sparkling wine' law

International — Link

Celebrated Champagne producer Moët Hennessy, part of the LVMH luxury group that includes Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, Mercier, Krug and Dom Pérignon, threatened to suspend exports to Russia after President Vladimir Putin required all non-Russian producers of bubbly wine to mark their products in Russia as 'sparkling wine', but has now backed down.

French police reveal system used by luxury goods firm LVMH to spy on journalist

France — Investigation

Two recent reports by French police have revealed in minute detail the spying system set up by the former head of France's domestic intelligence agency, Bernard Squarcini, on behalf of the giant luxury goods firm LVMH, which is owned by billionaire Bernard Arnault. Its target was journalist François Ruffin - who is now a Member of Parliament in France - and his publication Fakir. Fabrice Arfi reports.

The mystery of French foreign minister's letter behind sinking of LVMH-Tiffany deal

International — Analysis

An opportune letter sent by French foreign affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to LVMH luxury goods group boss Bernard Arnault gave the latter a justification for pulling out of a costly acquisition of US jewellers Tiffany that was agreed before the economic meltdown from the Covid-19 pandemic. According to LVMH, Le Drian, citing a looming tariffs dispute with the US, asked for the 16.6 billion-dollar deal to be halted. Curiously, the letter has never been made public. As Martine Orange reports, it is now at the heart of a legal battle between Tiffany and LVMH to be played out at a trial in the US in January, and threatens to become a major embarrassment for the French government.

Questions over curious intervention of French state as luxury firm LVMH breaks deal with Tiffany

France — Opinion

France's foreign minister has written an extraordinary letter that provides 'cover' for the French luxury goods group LVMH to pull out of an expensive deal to buy famous American jewellery firm Tiffany it no longer wanted to complete. That letter came after LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault reportedly asked foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian for help. The affair is now likely to lead to a long and bitter legal battle, one that could even end up with the French state facing claims for compensation from disgruntled shareholders. Mediapart's Martine Orange argues in this op-ed article that no French government has ever gone out on such a limb to support a private company.

Revealed: the explosive phone taps involving France's ex-spy chief Bernard Squarcini

France — Investigation

Mediapart is publishing a series of recordings of police phone taps involving the former head of France's domestic intelligence agency, Bernard Squarcini. These extraordinary tapes, which date from 2013, reveal the de facto existence of a state within a state, where private and public interests became intertwined. The first series of judicially-approved recordings reveal how after leaving his intelligence post Squarcini, nicknamed 'La Squale' ('The Shark'), was asked by the French luxury goods group LVMH to “infiltrate” an independent magazine in order to spy on it. Neither Squarcini nor LVMH wanted to comment on the content of the tapes. Fabrice Arfi and Pascale Pascariello report.

French fashion labels sign charter banning use of ultra-thin models

France — Link

French companies LVMH and Kering, which own dozens of haute couture brands including Saint Laurent, Dior and Gucci, have signed a charter to ban overly thin models, both female and male, and those aged under-16, from their catwalks and advertising.

France's richest man pilloried in low-budget, smash-hit documentary

France — Link

Runaway success Merci, Patron!  is about unemployed couple from northern France who lose their jobs when the company opens new factories in Poland.

France's richest man in talks to buy Paris newspaper

France — Link

Bernard Arnault, boss of LVMH which owns brands such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Givenchy, hopes to acquire Le Parisien for €50m.

French historians battle to save face of La Samaritaine

France — Link

Critics say that new glass facade planned as part of the redevelopment of this art deco and nouveau Paris landmark will look like a shower curtain.

LVMH chief in criminal probe over Belgium activities

France — Link

Probe relating to France's richest man Bernard Arnault concerns a capital increase of 2.9 billion euros in LVMH's Belgian holding company.

Hermès and LVMH 'handbag war' escalates

France — Link

The two high-profile luxury brands come before French stock-market regulator in dispute over Bernard Arnault's stake in Hermès.