Louis Vuitton boss Bernard Arnault leapfrogs Bill Gates into 2nd spot on the world’s richest people list with £86 BILLION fortune
LOUIS Vuitton boss Bernard Arnault has overtaken Bill Gates as the second richest person in the world with a fortune of £86billion ($107billion).
France's richest man added £31billion to his personal wealth in the past year, launching him into the exclusive $100billion club for the first time.
Arnault, chief of luxury goods maker LVMH, is now £160million ($200million) richer than Microsoft founder Gates, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
It's the first time since the index was created seven years ago that Gates has dropped out of the top two.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is still the richest man in the world with around £100billion ($125billion) despite his costly divorce.
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Arnault's wealth has shot up thanks to the soaring share value of LVMH, the world's largest maker of luxury goods.
He oversees an empire of around 70 brands including fashion house Christian Dior, luggage maker Louis Vuitton, Moet champagne and Hennessy brandy.
The Frenchman has joined Bezos and Gates in the exclusive club of billionaires with a net worth exceeding $100billion.
If it weren't for Gates' generous charitable donations and philanthropy, he would still be in the number one spot.
The Microsoft founder has given more than £28billion ($35billion) to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which funds projects around the world such as vaccinations.
Meanwhile, Bezos’ net worth is up a bit this year despite him reaching a mammoth divorce settlement with ex MacKenzie that made her the world’s fourth-richest woman.
Arnault, 70, made headlines earlier this year when he committed $224 million to the rebuilding of fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
He controls about half of Paris-based LVMH and also owns a 97 percent share in Christian Dior, the fashion house founded three years before his birth in 1949.
The three titans’ collective wealth exceeds the individual market values of almost every company in the S&P 500 Index, including Walmart, ExxonMobil and Walt Disney.
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