Did he or didn’t he? Some databases indicate Bernard Arnault very quietly sold one of his several Los Angeles properties last December — with zero fanfare and for a whopping $84.5 million, despite the house never having been publicly listed for sale.
Grant deeds confirm the house did undergo an ownership transfer, but the circumstances are odd, not least because Arnault appears to have been on both sides of the transaction. The French billionaire’s LLC sold the property to another LLC that was set up by his lawyer, with a mortgage secured by a Paris bank known to have a longstanding relationship with Arnault, his family and his businesses.. But transfer taxes were paid on the deal, and they confirm the sale price was $84.5 million.
Arnault, 73, is a lifelong real estate developer-turned-business magnate — the richest man in Europe and second-richest in the world. Per Forbes, his $137 billion net worth places him behind only Elon Musk and currently surpasses Jeff Bezos in the wealth rankings. And as the longtime chief of LVMH — the giant holding company that owns Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Sephora, Tiffany’s, Celine, Givenchy and Rihanna’s Fenty brand, just to name a few — he is perhaps the world’s most influential luxury tastemaker.
Naturally, Arnault’s Beverly Hills residence is every bit as fashionable as the luxury goods he sells. Located atop a steep ridge in the Trousdale Estates enclave, the contemporary mansion was custom-designed for Arnault by acclaimed architecture firm Marmol Radziner. Archived permits reveal the single-story structure is large, probably at least 10,000 square feet, but was built with only three bedrooms. In addition to two guest suites, there’s an enormous master suite with two bathrooms, a separate sauna and wellness center, a dressing room, private sitting room and a huge bedroom with head-on views of the entire Los Angeles skyline, from DTLA skyscrapers to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.
Because the property was never offered for sale, there are no public photos or many further details. In 2016, Arnault paid $32.5 million for the then-vacant lot. The two-parcel property spans nearly two acres, though much of that land is unusable hillside.
There isn’t much landscaping on the premises, save for a thicket of trees and assorted greenery out front for privacy. Walls and a giant driveway gate additionally shield the house from public view. Out back, an infinity-edged swimming pool is shaped like a frying pan.
Arnault also owns the property immediately next door to this house, on which he is building another contemporary mansion. He also has construction projects in the Bird Streets and Beverly Hills Post Office neighborhoods. And through various LVMH holding companies, he owns a massive chunk of Beverly Hills’ famed Rodeo Drive shopping district.
It remains unclear why Arnault would sell a house to himself. Perhaps it was actually transferred to a close family member, or maybe his team of accountants had a little too much free time on their hands. Either way, Dirt suspects this trophy residence is still safely stashed away, hidden somewhere in the Arnault family’s vast portfolio of holdings.
But technically speaking, an $84.5 million Beverly Hills sale was recorded last December.