Luxury king Bernard Arnault has become the world’s second richest person, with a net worth of more than $137 billion, after a surge in LVMH’s share price.
Arnault added $7 billion to his wealth Monday, as European stocks and luxury companies soared on the back of the Covid-19 vaccine news from Pfizer.
Europe’s richest man, who is chairman and CEO of LVMH, has added about $16 billion to his wealth over the past two weeks — more than entire purchase price of jewelry giant Tiffany.
LVMH, which owns luxury brands such as Louis Vitton, Christian Dior and Moet & Chandon, agreed to buy Tiffany last year for $16 billion but the two companies waged a bitter legal battle this fall over the purchase price, eventually agreeing to $400 million price cut.
Forbes now ranks Arnault as the second richest person in the world, behind Jeff Bezos, who is worth about $184 billion. Arnault nabbed the second place spot in 2019, but fell in the rankings as LVMH stock plunged during the coronavirus pandemic. Bill Gates, formerly number two, is now third with $119 billion, according to Forbes’ real-time tracking.