The gigantic French group of companies "Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy" was created in 1987. The founder and chairman of the board Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault (*1949) also owns 47.5% of the shares (64% of the voting rights) of the company through his holding company "Groupe Arnault". The Groupe Arnault has a dominant shareholding in the production of champagne through its five affiliated top companies: Krug, Mercier, Moët et Chandon, Ruinart and Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin. There are also shareholdings or holdings in the vineyards Cape Mentelle and Domaine Chandon (Australia), Château Cheval Blanc, Château d'Yquem and Château La Tour-du-Pin-Figeac (France), Cloudy Bay (New Zealand), and the cognac company Hennessy.
Its importance as a luxury goods group is rounded off by the top brands Christian Dior (perfumes), Louis Vuitton (leather goods) and Zenith (watches). There are numerous branches and international joint ventures in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, California, New Zealand and Spain. Various sales and production companies belonging to the company play a major role in the global wine and spirits trade. Since 1997, LVMH has also held an 11% stake in the beverage multinational Diageo. Worldwide 56,000 employees work for the group. See also under Globalization and the world's largest wine companies.