His name may not sound familiar but the brands he owns are internationally known. Pinault is the majority shareholder of luxury goods group, PPR, which owns brands like Gucci, Samsonite, Converse and many popular French brands. Having dropped out of high school, Francois’s rise to wealth is most astounding. His rise was a mix of high risk taking and successful restructuring of companies he purchased during distress. He started out as a regional timber merchant, and eventually owned his own timber business, taking it public. He also took big risks, such as making a reported $2 million on a $60K investment through speculation in commodities, and another deal that netted him $5 million in just one year. Pinault did this second deal by anticipating the effects of the oil embargo, selling his business for $6 million dollars, and buying it back a year later for $1 million. Deals like this allowed Pinault to begin buying other companies. Pinault’s next strategy was to seek companies with strong growth potential, and in various sectors to diversifying his holdings. He now owns everything from television stations to retailers.
There is an great article from The Independent, which details Pinault’s childhood, subsequent rise to wealth, legal allegations, and corporate takeovers.
you can read it HERE. Another great article on Pinault’s past and various business ventures can be found HERE.