Bernard Arnault, the LVMH luxury magnate who ranks second on the list of the world’s richest people, is being investigated by authorities in his native France on suspicions that he laundered money by buying real estate through a Russian oligarch. Have done.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The Paris public prosecutor’s office confirmed to Reuters a report by French-language daily Le Monde that it had opened a preliminary investigation last year into transactions involving Arnault and Nikolai Sarkisov.
In the French legal system, a preliminary investigation does not necessarily rule out wrongdoing.
Le Monde, citing Tracfin, the financial intelligence unit of the French Finance Ministry, reported on Thursday that Sarkisov had acquired real estate in a luxury alpine resort through a complex transaction in which Arnault provided the loan through one of his companies. Was.
According to the report, Sarkisov purchased several properties in 2018 in Courchevel, the exclusive ski resort where hotel stays can cost visitors thousands of dollars per night.
Arnault is accused of giving a $21.2 million loan to Sarkisov so that the oligarch, who helps his brother Sergei run the Russian insurance company RESO-Garantia, could buy property under his name.
Bernard Arnault, CEO of French luxury empire LVMH, is reportedly under investigation for alleged money laundering. Reuters
An unnamed Tracfin official told Le Monde that the transactions involving Arnault and Sarkisov, who both operated through a complex web of legal entities, may have been intended to conceal the origin of the funds used.
Le Monde cited a person close to Arnault as saying that the agreement with Sarkisov was legal under French law.
The post sought comment from LVMH and Sarkisov.
Arnault and his family are said to be worth $164 billion on the strength of their stake in the luxury empire, whose portfolio includes world-renowned brand names such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Givenchy, Bulgari, Dom Pérignon, Sephora and Fendi.
As of Friday, LVMH boasted a market capitalization of $393 billion.
Arnault and his family own the world’s second-largest wealth thanks to their stake in LVMH.AP
Arnault, 74, has delayed retirement while leaving his five children to run various aspects of the family business.
Arnault is the father of Christian Dior chief Delphine Arnault, 48, and Dior vice president Antoine Arnault, 46, the two eldest from Bernard’s first marriage; Alexandre Arnault, 31, executive vice president of Tiffany & Co.; Frédéric Arnoult, 28, who manages the TAG Heuer watch brand; and Jean Arnault, 25, chief marketing and development officer in the company’s watch division.
Business observers are keen to see which of his children Bernard Arnault chooses to run his empire after he retires.