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MONEY CROWD: French luxury titans Bernard Arnault and François Pinault are together at last — on the cover of this week’s issue of French business magazine Challenges. Its annual ranking of the country’s biggest fortunes put Arnault (14.58 billion euros) in second place, under Gérard Mulliez, founder of supermarket giant Auchan (15 billion euros). L’Oréal shareholder Liliane Bettencourt comes in third (10.07 billion euros), the Hermès family in fourth (7.68 billion euros) and Pinault in sixth (4.95 billion euros). Also making the top 10 is Alain Wertheimer and family, owner of Chanel, at No. 10 (3.5 billion euros).
Meanwhile, the cover points to a four-page article inside describing the recent détente between Arnault and Pinault, with the war over Gucci well behind them. It credits Arnault’s wife, Hélène, for taking the first steps to break the ice, warmly embracing Pinault’s wife, Maryvonne, at a charity event last November. Since then, the two men had lunch at the invitation of Belgian financier Albert Frère, as reported. The article also says the Arnaults invited the Pinaults to dinner on May 26, but the possible topics for conversation — art, football, wine, fashion? — are pure speculation.
— Miles Socha