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LVMH head Arnault to be knighted in London

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

Arnault will become a Knight Commander of the Most ExcellentOrder of the British Empire, the spokesman said, in a ceremonywhose date has not yet been set.

Britain's foreign office confirmed the award.

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

With the knighthood, Arnault will join such personalities asBill Gates, Stephen Spielberg and Placido Domingo, all of whomhave been similarly honored.

News of the honor from Britain comes just a month afterArnault set off a storm of protest in France over his decisionto seek Belgian nationality - a day before French PresidentFrancois Hollande unveiled a 75 percent supertax for top earnersin the 2013 budget.

Newspapers accused the man ranked by Forbes magazine as theworld's fourth-richest with a net work of $41 billion, of tryingto 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)(ReutersMessaging: alexandria.sage@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: FRANCE LVMH/