Owner of LVMH, world’s largest luxury group and France’s wealthiest man, Bernard Arnault is reported to be under criminal probe over his activities in Belgium, the financial daily De Tijd reported on Saturday.
The probe follows a preliminary investigation opened last year into a capital increase of 2.9 billion euros ($3.9 billion) in LVMH’s Belgian holding company Pilinvest, prosecution spokesman Jennifer Vanderputten told the Flemish-language paper.
The transaction occurred in December 2011 at the company, which Arnault set up in Brussels in 1999. Prosecutors could not be reached Saturday for comment.
A lawyer for Pilinvest, Pierre Vanommeslaghe, said the investigation was the “normal” consequence of the preliminary investigation “The company is awaiting the results of this investigation with great serenity,” he added in a statement. He said Pilinvest “has always fully respected current regulations” and noted that the company had a tax agreement with the Belgian authorities.
Arnault, the world’s 10th-richest person with a fortune estimated at $29 billion, according to Forbes owns an apartment in Uccle, a residential area near the centre of Brussels. He provoked an outcry by seeking Belgian nationality last year, a bid he later withdrew in April this year.
Arnault was among several wealthy Frenchmen including the actor Gerard Depardieu to have stirred controversy over plans to take up other nationalities over a proposed 75 percent super-tax — which has since been struck down as unconstitutional.
More from NEWS
Reinterpreting an iconic model, Breitling presents the Navitimer 8 B01 chronograph. Breitling is a highly versatile brand, but one of …
British Haute Couture House of Ralph & Russo will be opening a new flagship store in New York on Madison …
Chiming carillon and repeater watches make time audible and rank among the most fascinating products of haute horlogerie. This genre …