The Chanel family’s personal wealth has increased by $12.4 billion in 3 years

The billionaire family behind Chanel will have pocketed $12.4 billion in payouts from the luxury brand’s profits over the past three years, contributing to a massive increase in their personal wealth and underpinning efforts to diversify beyond haute couture. .

The Wertheimers’ Cayman Islands-based Chanel holding company will receive a $5.7 billion dividend by 2023, the biggest annual payout since the maker of expensive tweed ensembles and quilted flap bags began reporting results in London six years ago. years. This is in addition to $1.7 billion the previous year and $5 billion in 2021, according to filings.

The windfall contributed to a 19% increase in the clan’s net worth over the past year to $108 billion, and an increase of about 26% since the 2021 dividend was paid, according to the Billionaires Index. Bloomberg. Media-shy brothers Alain, 75, and Gerard, 72, are credited with owning equal shares in the closely held company, which they inherited as grandchildren from one of the original business partners in the operation. perfumes by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.

The Wertheimers are part of an ultra-rich group of French citizens whose fortunes in luxury goods and cosmetics have soared in recent years as consumers spend money on expensive handbags and perfumes. They include Bernard Arnault, founder of LVMH and the richest person in the world, L’Oreal SA heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, who is the richest woman, and the family behind handbag maker Hermes International SCA.

The latest proposed dividend for the Wertheimers coincides with a weakening of the luxury sector for some brands. Chanel is among the companies that have so far weathered the drop in demand: Revenue rose 16% last year to nearly $20 billion. Chief Financial Officer Philippe Blondiaux said this year could mark “more significant investments in real estate.”

At the same time, the Wertheimers’ family office, Mousse Partners, uses the income earned to invest in sectors outside the sector. Last year, the firm headed by his half-brother Charles Heilbronn was among a trio of France’s richest dynasties that helped acquire private investment bank Rothschild & Co.

Mousse Partners has also invested in a wide range of startups, including Brightside Health, digital advertising company Brandtech Group, biotech company Evolved by Nature and healthcare provider Thirty Madison, according to filings.

The Wertheimers benefit from the geographical structure of their empire. The Cayman Islands does not impose taxes on dividends from local companies, while the United Kingdom, where Chanel is based, does not generally impose withholding tax on dividends paid by a British company to another abroad.

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