There is a rather significant misconception as to the actual ownership of Christian Dior, and not surprisingly so (given the information to come). The iconic Paris-based design house, which lost its celebrated creative director, Raf Simons, yesterday, is frequently lumped under the umbrella of luxury conglomerate, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE. This is a rather close approximation, but technically an incorrect one. Here’s the actual ownership structure.
Worth noting up front: Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man and a modern day emperor of sorts, serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH. Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Céline, Loewe, Kenzo, Emilio Pucci, Fendi, and Berluti, among other fashion brands are subsidiaries of LVMH. The conglomerate, which calls Kering (nee PPR) as a rival, also has Wines and Spirits, and Perfume and Cosmetics divisions.
With that out of the way, the break down (albeit, not the most straightforward) is as follows.
There is Christian Dior S.A. (Dior as we know it), which owns 100 percent of Financière Jean Goujon.
Financière Jean Goujon is a holding company, which according to Forbes, was created for the sole purpose of holding LVMH shares. Financière Jean Goujon owns approximately 42.42 percent of LVMH’s share capital, representing approximately 59.52 percent of the voting rights of LVMH and may be deemed to control LVMH.
Thus, Christian Dior (through Financière Jean Goujon) owns 42.42 percent of LVMH’s share capital, representing approximately 59.52 percent of the voting rights of LVMH and may be deemed to control LVMH.
It does not stop there, though, as Christian Dior is indirectly controlled by Financière Agache S.A. The Financière Agache, which is is a holding company controlled by Groupe Arnault, carries out most of its business activities in the luxury goods sector via its majority ownership of Christian Dior S.A., which is the parent company of Christian Dior Couture and LVMH.
Enter: Groupe Arnault, which is the private holding company holding owned and controlled by Bernard Arnault. This is the Arnault family’s private holding company and at the end of 2010, it was the only declared major shareholder in Christian Dior S.A.