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LVMH's brand portfolio is a catalogue of the finest things money can buy. It is the world's premier luxury goods company, controlling around 75 exclusive brand names. The jewel in the crown is Louis Vuitton, the world's most valuable luxury goods label with annual sales now in excess of €10bn. It is accompanied by the fashion and cosmetics businesses of Christian Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy and others. In 2019, the group formed a joint venture with singer Rihanna to launch a global fashion and cosmetics label under her Fenty banner. The cosmetics did well, but the fashion label failed to win over customers and - in a rare retreat for LVMH - was put on pause after just two years. Drinks division Moet Hennessy - minority owned and distributed by Diageo - is the world's leading champagne house with brands such as Moet & Chandon, Veuve-Clicquot, Dom Perignon, Krug and others. But its own jewel in the crown is Hennessy cognac, the world's second most valuable spirits brand (after Johnnie Walker) with retail sales worth $4.6bn in 2020. Other important assets include the global beauty retailer Sephora, TAG Heuer watches, Rimowa luggage and the Cheval Blanc hotel chain and wine label. All these have been accumulated over the past four decades by LVMH's founder and controlling shareholder Bernard Arnault, earning him the title of France's richest man - net worth $184bn in 2022 - as well as arguably the world's most influential arbiter of good taste. One of Arnault's few failures was the two-year battle to add ultra-chic Gucci to his collection. LVMH eventually admitted defeat in 2000, but instead negotiated a handsome payout for its interest. In 2010, Arnault began what most observers viewed as a similar assault on domestic rival Hermes. That company's founding family were implacable in their opposition to Arnault's investment in their company, but even after a successful court case were unable to displace him as a minority shareholder. Arnault finally took the decision to sell those shares in 2017 to fund a buyout of Dior's minority shareholders. There have been several other significant, and more successful, deals. Among the more notable were Bulgari jewellery in 2011, Loro Piana fine cashmere in 2013, and the luxury hotel group Belmond in 2018. In 2019, LVMH agreed to acquire famed jeweller Tiffany & Co for $16.2bn, but then filed notice to withdraw its offer the following year in the wake of the Covid pandemic. A court case was eventually resolved when LVMH agreed to pay a reduced fee of $15.8bn. After a dip in 2020 as a result of the Covid pandemic, LVMH's revenues soared to a new record of €64.2bn while group net profit hit new highs of €12.7bn. Although Tiffany contributed much to the group's growth in the year, the star performer remains the fashion & leather goods unit headed by Louis Vuitton, where sales topped €30bn for the first time, up 39% over pre-pandemic levels. The Arnault family control 64% of voting shares and 48% of equity. Bernard Arnault remains chairman & CEO, and three of his children hold senior positions within the group. His daughter Delphine Arnault is EVP of flagship brand Louis Vuitton. Day-to-day management is handled by group managing director Antonio Belloni.
Capsule checked 2nd February 2022
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Historical profile information for LVMH
Marketer Moves 6th May 2022: New CMO at Maison Chandon. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Update 20th Jul 2021: LVMH was back on the acquisition trail with three new deals. It increased its stake in the Off-White fashion label launched by Louis Vuitton menswear designer Virgil Abloh. It already had a minority stake, but has now increased this to 60%. [Updated: Tragically, Abloh died of a rare form of cancer only a few months later, aged just 41.] Earlier this month LVMH also agreed to back the launch of a new fashion label by celebrated designer Phoebe Philo, former artistic director of Celine. Separately, the investment company L Chatterton, controlled by LVMH's Arnault family, acquired a 60% stake in Milanese fashion house Etro.
Adbrands Update 16th Jul 2021: Campari and LVMH's drinks division Moet Hennessy have joined forces to sell wines and spirits online. Campari has agreed to transfer to Moet half of its stake in high-end drinks retailer Tannico.com, which operates across multiple European markets. The sale also includes an interest in Tannico-controlled VenteALaPropriete.com. LVMH already has its own online drinks business, Clos19.com.
Adbrands Daily Update 7th Apr 2021: "Creative Freedom is Power". Lady Gaga may not have the pulling power she once had, but anything she turns her hand to is always worth a look. After all, nothing succeeds like excess, and excess is Lady Gaga's middle name. Star photographer Nick Knight, a long time collaborator, is behind the camera for this kaleidoscopic team-up with LVMH's Dom Perignon champagne. Perhaps surprisingly, Knight has yet to make as big an impact in commercials advertising as he has in fashion coverage, where he's undoubtedly one of the global leaders. This film, though beautiful to look at, doesn't really cut it as a commercial; more like an extended fashion spread or a no-vocals music video. But still, let's relish the sheer glamour of it all while it lasts.
Adbrands Daily Update 1st Mar 2021: A new week, a new deal for LVMH. Or not quite. In this case, the German company behind luxury sandal manufacturer Birkenstock is being acquired not directly by LVMH itself but by the Arnault family through their family holding company Financiere Agache in conjunction with private equity fund L Catterton in which they are also partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is rumoured to value the business at around €4bn. The new investors will jointly acquire a majority stake from Birkenstock's current owners, the brothers Christian and Alex Birkenstock. The business was founded in the late 18th century by their ancestor Johann Adam Birkenstock.
Adbrands Daily Update 23rd Feb 2021: Just a few days after it scaled back its partnership with one music icon, Rihanna, LVMH established a new joint venture with another, acquiring 50% of Jay-Z's prestige champagne brand Armand de Brignac, known colloquially as 'Ace of Spades' after its logo. It is among the world's priciest champagnes, with individual bottles selling for upwards of $300. No terms were disclosed. Jay-Z bought the business in 2016, but the champagne is still produced under contract by the Cattier family of Reims.
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