The Brave Ones

Louis Vuitton chief Bernard Arnault says he regrets selling his Apple shares too early

Shafi Musaddique
Key Points
  • LVMH CEO tells CNBC that he regrets selling Apple shares before the company rocketed to its current day valuation
  • The French businessman describes a meeting with Steve Jobs as "lucky" and that the tech founder turned to him for advice
Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg via Getty Images

LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault regrets selling his shares of Apple too early and said that he "should have kept them until today."

Speaking to CNBC's "The Brave Ones," the French businessman said that he was "lucky" to have met Steve Jobs after the tech founder had turned to him for advice at the turn of the millennium on whether to launch Apple stores.

"And I don't know if you will remember but at that time every competitor of him was telling it was crazy to open (a) store for Apple. I remember Dell was saying that. Obviously they were wrong because Apple stores are a big success."

Competitors 'trying to imitate'

Arnault told CNBC that he felt closest to his Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton brands the most.

"Both are exceptional businesses based on the success of one person at the beginning," Arnault said.

LVMH owns 70 luxury fashion clothes, wines and cosmetics brands and raked in revenues of 42.6 billion euros in 2017.

LVMH strength coming from luxury watches, jewelry and cosmetics: Euromonitor
LVMH strength coming from luxury watches, jewelry and cosmetics: Euromonitor

The CEO said that he was heavily criticized in the 1990s for creating a luxury group and now feels that his competitors aim to copy his business model with limited success.

"I remember people telling me it doesn't make sense to put together so many brands. And it was a success. It is a recognized success," Arnault said.

"And for the last 10 years now, every competitor is trying to imitate, which is very rewarding for us. I think they are not successful but they try."