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LVMH Deal Catapults Rihanna Onto Sunday Times of London Rich List

Samantha Conti

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LONDON — Rihanna has been named one of the wealthiest people in Britain with a fortune of 468 million pounds, due mainly to her partnership with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, according to the Rich List 2020 published by the Sunday Times of London.

The Barbados-born Rihanna, who lives in north London, is a minority shareholder in Fenty, the luxury house launched by the singer and LVMH. The newspaper believes that the Fenty brand is worth $3 billion, with Rihanna’s estimated 15 percent stake worth $351.6 million. The rest of her wealth is derived from eight albums and various other businesses.

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Although the Paris-based LVMH boss Bernard Arnault is not on the annual Rich List, which counts the wealthiest 1,000 people in Britain, he did make it once again into the newspaper’s annual ranking of the top ten richest families and individuals in the world.

Arnault and his family sit at number five with a fortune estimated at 59.4 billion pounds. At the top of the list are the Walton family, owners of Walmart and Asda, with 160.5 billion pounds, followed by Jeff Bezos; Bill Gates; Charles and Julia Koch; Arnault; chocolate magnates, the Mars family; Warren Buffet; Larry Ellison of Oracle; Inditex’s Amancio Ortega, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

It was not an easy year for the rich in Britain, due to the coronavirus which ate into the value of companies and shares. As a result, many saw their fortunes shrink.

Those with slimmer portfolios and bank accounts include Queen Elizabeth, whose fortune is estimated to have fallen by 20 million pounds to 350 million pounds, due to renovations at Buckingham Palace and other properties, and her share portfolio.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the chemicals magnate and owner of the Belstaff brand who topped the list in 2018, saw his net worth shrink by 6 billion pounds to 12.1 billion pounds, due to high debt at his company Ineos.

François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek saw their monetary worth decline by 250 million pounds to 6.59 billion euros after Kering’s shares sank earlier this year due to the pandemic. The newspaper estimated the couple’s wealth based on Pinault’s stakes in all of the family companies, including Christie’s and the Château Latour wine estate, combined with Hayek’s net worth of 92 million pounds.

Nicky Oppenheimer, the former owner of De Beers and South Africa’s wealthiest man, saw his family’s net worth contract by 61 million pounds over the past 12 months to 5.6 billion pounds, due both to generous philanthropic contributions and the impact of COVID-19 on his businesses and investments.

Diamond jewelry specialists Laurence and François Graff saw their fortune downsized by 223 million pounds to 3.79 billion pounds, while former billionaire Sir Philip Green’s net worth is down by 20 million pounds to 930 million pounds. The newspaper said the tax-free 1.2 billion pound dividend that the Topshop tycoon paid his wife Tina Green in 2005 keeps him on the list.

Johnnie Boden was among a number of fashion magnates who fell down the ranking, with a fortune that declined by 45 million pounds to 335 million pounds due to the impact of COVID-19 on the value of his eponymous company, which sells through online, catalogue and bricks-and-mortar outlets.

Some families and individuals shrugged off the crisis to watch their respective fortunes rise.

Number one on this year’s list was the inventor Sir James Dyson, whose fortune rose by 3.6 billion pounds to 16.2 billion pounds. The increase came from his profitable household technology companies and products such as the lightweight Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, which carries a price tag of 300 pounds, and substantial property holdings across the U.K.

The Beckhams worked their way up the list, too, with a fortune that rose by 15 million pounds to 370 million pounds, due chiefly to the money that David Beckham rakes in from advertising, and despite losses at fashion house Victoria Beckham Ltd.

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, who is on track to crush Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles, saw his net worth climb by 37 million pounds to 224 million pounds, due to his contract with Mercedes and a string of endorsements. The Sunday Times called him the most affluent active sports star in Rich List history.

The Weston family, owners of Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Primark’s publicly listed parent Associated British Foods, saw their wealth increase by 30 million pounds to 10.53 billion pounds due to the success of their food, fashion and retail businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.