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Best Book on Bernard Arnault?


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I appreciate ideas for best books on Bernard Arnault. I'm looking mostly for the business part, of course, I've tried watching speeches of him on YouTube but it isn't easy to watch. If I was fluent in French I suppose it would be better, but his English is hard to watch.

I find his business odyssey fascinating though. How the hell did this man take over that textile group that had Dior and then how did again pull off that controlling interest in 1989 in LVMH? 

Now he is the richest man alive. 

I wish I would have bought the stock in the past. 

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@wescobrk and @Xerxes,


I have done my very best to understand Mr. Arnault, his modus operandi etc. for years now.


I haven't found any relevant books.


I've been searching for books, articles and such trying to get the whole picture of how Mr. Arnault [and his family] got to where he is today. It's uncomprehendable that he got to where he is today, thinking based on a modest capital base from his fathers original engineering company, back in the 1970's and the formation of LVMH in the 1980's.


From what I have found and read about it he back then was quite a corporate raider taking on enormous risks [using leverage to a wide extent, likely debt to major French banks], getting away with nearly everything he tried to lay his clammy hands on, the exemptions being Guzzi and Hermes. But with these exemptions he basically got away with everything with enormous returns over the years as the outcome, the [only?] alternative being loosing his shirt.


In the early days he shared very competent and vey connected lawyer with Vicent Bolloré and family : Antoine Bernheim.


Link : Financial Times [August 1 2019] : Meet the Breton Pulley. A guide to understanding some of France’s most complex companies .


Mr. Arnault is using both this structure in the total group [minorities capital in a pyramid group structure] and leverage in several of the group levels in the structure. Somehow, it reminds me of the structure of Brookfield.


The visible group structure - bottom-up - as of now is the following:


LVMH - Moët Hennesy Louis Vuitton SE [MC.PA] : LVMH website,

Christian Dior SE [CDI.PA][parent to MC.PA] Christian Dior Finance website,

Financiére Agache SE [parent to CDI.PA, non-listed, but financial statements available because of issued public listed bonds] : Financiére Agache website .


Financiére Agache is owned and controlled by a legal entity named Agache, which recently changed legal form from an SE to a partnership. This legal entity and its finances are a black box to me.

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Thanks for the responses.

Odd the richest man in the world doesn't have a decent biography on him. I read some lame ones on amazon unlimited last night. A Walter Isaacson type biography would be great but the French hate capitalists so probably not a large enough market I suppose to buy or there would be at least one decent one out there.

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It's in no way my intention to be rude here, but yet another lame, unsubstanciated and absolute false assertion and statement laying and flying around in main stream media and on the Net about Mr. Arnault, here about his net worth.


There is no way you can get to the conclusion that Mr. Arnault is the richest person on this planet, based on market values.



  1. Grab the last half year report for Financiére Agache [2022H1], look up the ownership stake in percentage in CDI.PA and calculate actual market value, and add to that the value of other net assets of Financiére Agache,
  2. Assume Agache owns 100% of Financiére Agache [unknown], &
  3. Assume Mr. Arnault owns 100% of Agache [, which you know he doesen't, if you have examined the topic].
Edited by John Hjorth
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There is some info out there related to the initial capital accumulation phase and before the rest is history:


There's Le Goût du Pouvoir (haven't read) which is partly available here:

Bernard Arnault ou le Goût du pouvoir (numilog.com)

There's L'Ange Exterminateur which (i cannot find my copy), from memory, has gossipy content and which was involved with a defamation possibility but which also contains a detailed account of the financial and tactical moves made by Mr. Arnault during the early years.

There's also From Predators to Icons by Villette and Vuillermot (English version available). The book has a section on Bernard Arnault (p.146-158) which is a good summary of his early life and the strategy used to gain control of Boussac (1981-5) and to gain control of LVMH (1987-9).

It's funny when you think about it. Mr. Arnault bought a declining textile business with no sustainable moat, eventually 'divested' it and used the platform (from Dior) to build a brand of brands.


Apparently, he regularly plays tennis with Roger Federer and asks him to play the best he can. i guess he wants to know what his real worth is?

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There's a bio by Forestier and Ravai called 'The Taste of Luxury - Bernard Arnault and the M-H, LV Story'.

I've had it on my list for a few years now but have found it difficult to find and/or expensive whenever I've gone to take the plunge so am yet to read it.

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On 12/17/2022 at 1:15 AM, ACooke said:

There's a bio by Forestier and Ravai called 'The Taste of Luxury - Bernard Arnault and the M-H, LV Story'.

I've had it on my list for a few years now but have found it difficult to find and/or expensive whenever I've gone to take the plunge so am yet to read it.

I read it and sold it... wow, I didn't know it would get this expensive. 


Essentially, my take away was B. Arnault bought a bank and used its capital/leverage to take over all these luxury assets. 

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BusinessWeek, Institutional Investor and Forbes ran cover stories on BA in the late 80s and early 90s. You might like those. There's also an old Bernstein report on LVMH that I enjoyed.


Erwan Rambourg, an ex-LVMH employee and HSBC analyst, wrote several books on the luxury industry. I haven't read them, but I imagine they include details on BA and LVMH.

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