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LVMH head Arnault to be knighted in London

PARIS, Oct 7 (Reuters) - The chief executive of French luxury group LVMH , Bernard Arnault, is set to be knighted in London for his contributions to the British luxury industry, an LVMH spokesman said on Sunday.

Arnault will become a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the spokesman said, in a ceremony whose date has not yet been set.

Britain's foreign office confirmed the award.

The distinction is to recognize Arnault's contributions to the luxury industry in Britain, where LVMH employs 3,000 people.

With the knighthood, Arnault will join such personalities as Bill Gates, Stephen Spielberg and Placido Domingo, all of whom have been similarly honored.

News of the honor from Britain comes just a month after Arnault set off a storm of protest in France over his decision to seek Belgian nationality - a day before French President Francois Hollande unveiled a 75 percent supertax for top earners in the 2013 budget.

Newspapers accused the man ranked by Forbes magazine as the world's fourth-richest with a net work of $41 billion, of trying to shirk his future tax bill.

But Arnault said he would continue to pay taxes in France, and cited personal and business reasons for the change.

(Reporting By Alexandria Sage; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

((alexandria.sage@thomsonreuters.com)(+33 1 4949 5219)(Reuters Messaging: alexandria.sage@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: FRANCE LVMH/