France’s 8 Richest Billionaires

France’s 8 Richest Billionaires
User Rating: 0 (0 votes)

1. Liliane Bettencourt and Family $37.9 Billion

Liliane Bettencourt is a French businesswoman, socialite, French heiress, and philanthropist. Bettencourt is one of the richest woman of the world, having the wealth of US $ 37.9 billions. She is one of the majority shareholders of Loreal and Nestle, which she got from her father’s cosmetic empire.

Liliane Bettencourt was born in Paris. She was the only child of Louise Madeleine Berthe and Eugene Schueller. Her mother died when she was only 5 years old, thereby forming a strong bond with his father. Her father was later on married to Liliane’s British governess. When she was about 15 years, she joined her father’s company as an apprentice. Her task was to label shampoo bottles and mix cosmetics. This resulted in giving her an insight into the ways of business at a young age.

In 1950, Liliane Bettencourt was married to a French politician Andre Bettencourt, who was the cabinet minister in the French government of the 1960s and 1970s. Later on, he became the deputy chairman of Loreal. In 1957, Liliane Bettencourt inherited the shares of Loreal, when her father died. Further, the property of her father went to public in 1973, and in 1974 she exchanged half of her shares for a 3% share in Nestle with the fear that her father’s company may get nationalized.

Bettencourt and her husband found the ‘Foundation Schueller-Bettencourt’ that supports cultural, medical, and humanitarian ventures. Although Bettencourt did not like public appearances and media attention, yet she had become the part of various controversies and notorious headlines. Liliane Bettencourt also became the victim of a Ponzi scheme by Bernard Madoff wherein she lost 22 million pounds.

Despite of the alleged charges and political charges, Liliane Bettencourt is the famous role model for young entrepreneurs. She is placed on the 15th number in the Forbes list.

2. Bernard Arnault and Family $32.8 Billion

Born on 5 March 1949, Bernard Arnault is a French businessman having $33 billion covering about 70 brands that include Louis Vuitton, Sephora, Tag Heuer, and many more. He is the Chairman and CEO of LVMH since 1989. According to Forbes, he is the 13th richest person in the World while keeping the tag of being the 2nd richest man in France. He did his graduation from École Polytechnique in 1971. He is an engineering graduate. The journey of Bernard Arnault’s business career started from his father’s own Civil Engineering company. Later in 1984, he had acquired a luxury goods company named Financière Agache, and became CEO of the company.

With the acquisition of Financière Agache, he got hold on Boussac as well. Bernard Arnault sold all the assets of this company while keeping only Christian Dior and Le Bon Marché department store. He was willing to expand his business, and therefore, he acquired several companies, including Céline in 1988, Berluti and Kenzo in 1993, La Tribune in 1993 (was sold out later on to acquire Les Échos in 2007), Guerlain. In 1994, Loewe in 1996, Sephorain 1997, and many more. Today, he owns 70 brands and about 3700 retail stores.

Bernard Arnault is also an art collector, and is famous for his collection as well. He has been married twice. From his first marriage, he has two children, and from his second marriage, he has three children. The name of his second wife is Hélène Mercier. She is Canadian pianist from Quebec. Daughter (Delphine Arnault ) of Bernard Arnault is a director of the LVMH group, and she is passionate about the business. Antoine Arnault, as his son, is a communication head of Louis Vultton.

3. Francois Pinault and Family $14.3 Billion

Francois Pinault is a 79 year old French businessman and an art collector. He was born in in Les Champs-Géraux, on 21st August 1936. Francois Pinault and Family own several businesses, including today’s most popular design houses, namely Gucci, Stella McCartney, Yves Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen. According to Forbes, he is the 84th richest person in the World, and 4th richest man in France. The net worth of this French businessman’s all businesses is $11.4 billion.

In the retail company called Kering, he is a chairman. Also, he is a major shareholder of the company. He is the owner of the company named Artemis S.A.. It is not the only company that he owns. The names of his other companies are: Converse shoes, Château Latour, Samsonite luggage, the Vail Ski Resort in Colorado, and Christie’s auction house. His holding company Artemis S.A. also owns Executive Life Insurane Company, which is now called Aurora Life. This insurance company is in California.

He belongs to a rich family who is into timber trading. He is a high school dropout. He has three children. Francois-Henri is one of the three children, and currently he is managing the company founded by Francois Pinault. He is married to actress Salma Hayek. One of the most interesting things to know about Francois Pinault is he is a superb art collector. He has the largest contemporary art collection. According to ArtReview’s 2006 magazine, he was ranked first in the list of most powerful man in modern art. He has also acquired Palazzo Grassi in Venice where he displays his collection.

4. Patrick Drahi $13.8 Billion

Born in a Moroccan Jewish family in 1963 in Casablanca, Morocco, Patrick Drahi has a net worth of $7.9 billion. As per Forbes, he is the 205th richest person in the World, and 10th richest man in France. He has founded a well-known French telecom group named Altice Group. It is a multi-national telecommunication company. Since 1993, he has been living in Switzerland. He was only 15 years old when he along with his parents, who are math teachers, moved to Montpellier. He has completed his engineering from the École Polytechnique university, Paris. Now, he lives in Geneva, Switzerland with wife and four children.

Drahi owns several businesses, and journey started in 2013 when he had founded i24news – an international news channel. This channel broadcasts in French, Arabic, and English. The i21news runs from Israel. In 2015, he purchased 70% stake in Suddenlink Communications and entered in the American telecommunication market. Drahi had invested $9.1 billion to buy 70% shares of Suddenlink Communications – 7th largest cable company in America. Also, Drahi own about 60% of the French telecom group named Altice Group. He also owns HOT, which is an Israeli cable television company. He owns about 75% of one of the largest cable TV firm in France named Numericable. He does not directly own the company, but through his owned Altice Group.

5. Serge Dassault and Family $10.4 Billion

Born on 4 April 1925, Serge Dassault is a French businessman and a Senator. He is a conservative politician. He is a member of the Union for a Popular Movement party. Also, he was mayor in the Corbeil-Essonnes city, Paris. He became a senator in 2004. As a businessman, he is the Chairman and CEO of the Dassault Group, which he has inherited from his father, Marcel Dassault. After the death of Marcel Dassault in 1986, he has been looking after the Dassault group with full enthusiasm in such a way that today he stands in the 52th position among world’s top billionaires. He is the 3rd richest man in France with the current net worth of $15.4 million.

Serge Dassault was in 62nd position among world’s top billionaires with the net worth of $10.4 billion, but the past one year has been the year of growth for Serge Dassault and Family, increasing their net worth to $15.4 billion. The Dassault Group, which is headed by Serge Dassault, deals in aerospace, software, and media. He had expanded the business by adding one more vertical to the Dassault Group, which is French newspaper Le Figaro. He bought this newspaper in 2004, and this newspaper is known as France’s most conservative newspaper. He owns several other media companies under his subsidiary Le Groupe Figaro. He also owns the France’s third largest auction house named Artcurial along with a winery. Serge Dassault was married to Nicole Raffel on 5 July 1950, and both have four children, namely Olivier, Laurent, Thierry, and Marie-Hélène.

6. Alain Wertheimer $9.2 Billion Alain Wertheimer on the right Alain Wertheimer on the right

Born in 1949, Alain Wertheimer is a 67 year old French businessman who owns a French luxury brand, the House of Chanel in partnership with his brother Gerard Wertheimer. Alain is the Chairman of the luxury brand while Gerard Wertheimer looks after the Watch division of the company. Alain Wertheimer also has investment in Bell & Ross, one of the popular watch brands in Switzerland.

As per Forbes list of top 100 billionaires, Alain Wertheimer has preserved his 90th position with the net worth of $11 billion against the 133th position in 2015 when his net worth was $9.2 billion. Both Alain Wertheimer and Gerard Wertheimer are passionate about their business, and this is the result they are able to stand along Top 100 billionaires of the world. Alain Wertheimer is the 5th richest man in France as well.

Alain Wertheimer became the Chairman of the House of Chanel in 1974, and after that he had taken the business to a next level. In 1983, he has hired the designer Karl Lagerfeld, who has given a push to the business of Wertheimer brothers. He has acquitted several other brands, namely Eres Lingerie and beachwear, Holland & Holland, a British gunmake, and Tanner Krolle saddles and leather good. Moreover, both Alain Wertheimer and Gerard Wertheimer own two French Vineyards, including Château Rauzan-Ségla, which is in Margaux and Château Canon, which is in Saint-Emilion. They also own St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery, which is in the Napa Valley of California. He was married to Brigitte Wertheimer both have three children.

7. Gerard Wertheimer $9.2 Billion Gerard Wertheimer on right Gerard Wertheimer on right

Born on 09 January 1951 into a Jewish family, Gerard Wertheimer is a French businessman living in Switzerland. He is a co-owner of the world’s most famous fashion house company named the House of Chanel. The other partner of the company is his brother, Alain. Gerard Wertheimer is the head of the Watch division of the company. And, Alain is the chairman of the company. He lives in the United States of America.

According to Forbes 2016 list of billionaires, Gerard Wertheimer owns a position among world’s top 100 billionaires. He stands in the 90th position with the net worth of $11 billion. In France, his position is 5th. In the year 2015, he was not listed among top 100 billionaires, but with the increase in the net worth from $9.2 billion to $11 billion in 2016, he has entered into the list of top 100 billionaires.

The House of Chanel company in which Gerard Wertheimer heads the watch division was co-founded by his Grand Father, Pierre. It is a privately held company. In addition to the House of Chanel, Wertheimer brothers also own two French Vineyards, including Château Rauzan-Ségla, which is in Margaux and Château Canon, which is in Saint-Emilion. They also own St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery, which is in the Napa Valley of California. They are also indulged in thoroughbred horse racing. They are passionate for horse racing that they have Wertheimer farm for racing in the United States. One more horse farm they have in France, which is named Wertheimer et Frère. Gerard Wertheimer is married to Valérie who is an enthusiastic and active member of child protection charities. Both Gerard Wertheimer and his wife have two children.

8. Carrie Perrodo $9.0 Billion - Carrie Perrodo on right – Carrie Perrodo on right

Born in Singapore, Carrie Perrodo is a French Businesswoman now. Earlier she was a top and a famous model. She was famous with the name Ka Yee “Carrie” Wong. She had founded a modelling agency named Carrie’s Models. She had sold the agency, but the agency is still working.

She met Hubert Perrodo, who was a French businessman, owning the well-known Oil group named Perenco. Hubert Perrodo and Carrie got married in 1944, shortly after their marriage, Carrie Perrodo was indulged in the business of her husband, and now, after death of Hubert Perrodo in 2006, she is the sole owner of the Oil group, Perenco. The Carrie Perrodo and Family are the biggest family that owns oil companies being active in Peru, Vietnam, and in many more countries.

As per Forbes 2016 list of world’s top billionaire, she stands at 358th position with the net worth of $5.9 billion. Her rank in France is 15 making her the 15th richest woman in France. Until 2015, she was standing at the 149th position among the top billionaires across the globe, but continuous decrease in the oil and gas prices have reduced the company’s wealth pushing Carrie Perrodo on the 358th position in 2016. She is a mother of three children, namely François Hubert Marie Perrodo, Nathalie Perrodo, and Bertrand Nicolas Hubert Perrodo. François Hubert Marie Perrodo was born on 14 February 1977, and he is a chairman of Perenco. Nathalie Perrodo was born in 1980 and Bertrand Nicolas Hubert Perrodo was born in 1984. Nathalie looks after Bordeaux vineyards, which Hubert had purchased as he was a wine lover.