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LVMH boss Bernard Arnault under investigation in Paris over Oligarch transactions

On January 26, 2023, LVMH Group Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault attended the LVMH 2022 annual results press conference held in Paris, France.

Gonzalo Fuentes | Reuters

The Paris prosecutor’s office is investigating LVMH Chief Executive Bernard Arnault launched an investigation into financial dealings involving Russian oligarch Nikolai Sarkisov.

French newspaper Le Monde reported on Thursday that Sarkissov bought the property in the Alpine resort with the help of a loan from Arnault, citing reports from France’s Tracfin financial intelligence unit.

The Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed on Friday that a preliminary investigation had been ongoing since 2022 and that a report by Tracfin “brought the attention of the prosecutor’s office to actions involving Mr. Bernard Arnault and Mr. Sarkisov that may have Belongs to Money Laundering” is attached to this procedure. “

The prosecutor’s office declined to comment further on the ongoing investigation. The preliminary investigation does not necessarily mean there was wrongdoing, and Le Monde quoted a close associate of Arnaud as saying the deal was carried out within the confines of French law.

Arnold is the founder, CEO and chairman of the world’s largest luxury goods company, and one of the richest people in the world. February lost High Court case against French tax investigators On the legality of the 2019 attack on LVMH headquarters. The raid was linked to a tax fraud investigation linked to activities in Belgium.

Nikolai Sarkisov is a senior executive at his brother Sergey’s Russian insurance company RESO-Garantia.

RESO-Garantia Deputy CEO Igor Ivanov told CNBC on Friday that neither the company nor Nikolai Sarkisov was involved in the deal, and that Sarkisov Kissov never met Bernard Arnault.

“The transaction is managed by a small investment unit specialized in investing in European real estate. The transaction consists of acquiring apartments in an old building in Courchevel from different private owners with a view to selling them to developers after purchasing the entire building, ” Ivanov said in an email.

“All transactions were conducted by French companies, French lawyers for the parties, and through French notaries. This was a common real estate transaction.”

He added that neither the company nor Sarkisov had received any requests for documents from French authorities.

LVMH did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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