Who is Bernard Arnault?
Bernard Arnault is the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the French conglomerate LVMH. It is the largest luxury goods company in the world. He is Europe’s 2nd richest person. He was born in March 1949. He is married to Helene. He and his wife have 4 children. He and his family (Antoine Arnault, Frédéric Arnault, Delphine Arnault, Alexandre Arnault, and Jean Arnault) are the owners of the yacht Symphony.
Owner of LVMH
LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A. is a French multinational luxury brand conglomerate. The company is headquartered in Paris, France. It is formed after a merger. Between the champagne producer Moët & Chandon and manufacturer of cognac Hennessy in 1971. The name became Moët Hennessy then.
In 1987 Moët Hennessy merged with fashion house, Louis Vuitton. Thus creating the current group. LVMH controls around 60 subsidiaries. That each manages a small number of prestigious brands. The subsidiaries are often managed independently. Christian Dior the luxury goods group, is the main holding company of LVMH. Owning 42.36% of its shares, and 59.01% of its voting rights.
Arnault is the majority shareholder of Dior. The Louis Vuitton owner is the Chairman of both companies and CEO of LVMH.
Other LVMH Brands
The luxury group owns many brands including Acqua di Parma, Givenchy, and Guerlain. Other brands are Kenzo Parfums and of course Louis Vuitton.
The company also owns the famous TAG Heuer watch brand.
Royal Van Lent Shipyard
Through LVMH he is also the owner of the luxury yacht builder Royal Van Lent. Which he acquired in 2008 for more than EUR 300 million. Van Lent actually built his current yacht.
Sonata Yachting Ltd
We’ve got some proof that he is the actual owner of the yacht Symphony. The Annual Accounts of Van Lent Holding (a Dutch company) mention that project 808 was delivered. To a company named Sonata Yachting Limited in Malta.
And the Annual accounts of LVMH mention that this company Sonata Yachting Limited is part of the Group’s consolidated companies. To our surprise, the building of the yacht is not mentioned as a specific ‘related party transaction’.
Update on the ownership of the superyacht Symphony:
In the 2017 annual accounts of LVMH Group, it was disclosed that:. “ a Royal Van Lent subsidiary, the owner and operator of a vessel for business use. Was sold to a subsidiary of Groupe Arnault for consideration of 54 million euros. Groupe Arnault has assumed all liabilities and commitments incurred and entered into by the company prior to the sale.”
So they consider Symphony a ‘vessel for business use’. This is probably why the transaction was not disclosed as a ‘related party transaction’.
Groupe Arnault SAS is the private investment holding for Arnault and his family.
Arnault’s Previous Yacht
His previous yacht is named Amadeus. She was built in 1969 as a research vessel. And she was converted to a superyacht in 2007. She has an icebreaker hull.
The yacht Amadeus had many famous visitors. Including former UK prime minister Tony Blair and rock star Bono.