Business

Elon Musk and Bernard Arnault: A Historic Power Lunch Unites Two Titans

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In a rare and remarkable occurrence, the world’s two wealthiest individuals, Elon Musk and Bernard Arnault, shared a meal together in Paris. The power lunch took place at Cheval Blanc, attended by Musk, the CEO of Tesla, and Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, along with their family members.

With each man’s net worth surpassing a staggering $220 billion, they have been in a constant tussle for the title of the richest person on the planet. This extraordinary rendezvous brought together two prominent figures in the business world, capturing the attention of global media.

Joining the esteemed lunch gathering were Musk’s mother, Maye Musk, and Arnault’s eldest son, Antoine, who shared glimpses of the meeting on his Instagram account, adding to the intrigue surrounding this gathering of titans.

Musk’s visit to Europe has been driven by several countries vying to become the host for Tesla’s next battery factory. As part of his European tour, he has engaged with various leaders, including Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni and French President Emmanuel Macron. Additionally, Musk delivered a speech at the VivaTech conference in France, reiterating his concerns about the perils of artificial intelligence while acknowledging his surprise that his call for a pause in AI development garnered agreement.

During the lunch, Musk playfully quipped, “If I’m so smart, why did I pay so much for Twitter?” The billionaire’s witty remark highlighted the dynamic and lighthearted atmosphere of the gathering.

Both Musk and Arnault are familiar faces on the world’s rich list. Arnault has transformed LVMH into the largest luxury group globally, boasting renowned brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon, and Givenchy. Although he surpassed Musk in wealth last year, the economic slowdown in China, a crucial luxury goods market, adversely affected investor sentiment towards LVMH shares.

In contrast, Tesla’s stock has soared by over 140% this year, propelling Musk back to the pinnacle of wealth rankings. As the CEO of SpaceX, Musk’s fortune could soar even higher if the company decides to spin off its Starlink satellite-broadband unit in an initial public offering (IPO).

This Paris meeting was not the first encounter between Musk and Arnault. They previously met in Los Angeles, where Arnault admitted to underestimating Musk’s determination to colonize Mars, an idea initially met with laughter. Reflecting on his earlier misjudgment, Arnault confessed to The Telegraph, “I thought he was joking. But he was serious, and I don’t think he was best pleased.”

Musk’s space ambitions may indeed have the last laugh. Venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya predicted an IPO for Starlink this year, projecting a valuation at least half of SpaceX’s current private worth. In January, CNBC reported that SpaceX had raised $750 million at a valuation of $137 billion, setting the stage for a potentially momentous milestone in the commercial space industry.

The power lunch between Elon Musk and Bernard Arnault marked an extraordinary convergence of minds and fortunes. While they may differ in their respective industries and interests, their meeting in Paris showcased the influence and impact these individuals have on the global stage. As their fortunes continue to soar, the world watches with anticipation to see what new frontiers they will conquer.

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