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Mulliez's fortune has ballooned from 5.5 billion euros in 1996 to 21 billion euros in 2007. Besides Auchan hypermarkets, Mulliez's group has stakes in home-improvement retailer Leroy Merlin, sports chain Decathlon and cataloguer 3 Suisses. Arnault's fortune shed 18 percent to 18.31 billion euros from the 2007 Challenges ranking due to a drop in the value of shares of LVMH and Carrefour, of which he controls 47 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
L'Oréal founder Liliane Bettencourt and her family, with a fortune of 13.58 billion euros, held steady at number three. Bertrand Puech and the Hermès family, which control 72 percent of Hermès International, also held on at number six with a fortune estimated at 7.42 billion euros. François Pinault and family fell to seventh place from number four, with a fortune of 7.33 billion euros due to a drop in PPR's stock price. Also making the top 10, a jump from 16th place last year, is Chanel owner Alain Wertheimer and family, with a fortune of 5 billion euros.