80-year-old billionaire Nicolas Puech, a fifth generation descendant of Thierry Hermès who founded the legendary luxury house Hermès in 1937, has officially begun the processes of formally adopting his 51-year-old anonymous former gardener. With this in mind, Puech has plans to leave him with half of his fortune, tallying up to approximately $11 billion USD in fortune and $5.9 million USD in properties around the world.
Puech currently commands a large proportion of shares in the $220-billion USD valued luxury brand and is considered to be one of Switzerland’s wealthiest individuals. With an estimated net worth of $10.3 billion to $11.4 billion USD, Puech has no children and is attempting to cancel a “succession agreement” he had agreed with a charity he established back in 2011. Besides this, Puech has initiated legal proceedings to formalize the adoption of his gardener, forming a crucial part of his revised estate arrangements.
According to reports, the man who is expected to inherit half of Puech’s fortune was his “former gardener and handyman” and comes from a “modest Moroccan family.” The gardener is reportedly married to a woman from Spain with two children of their own. As a part of the inheritance, the gardener stands to gain substantial properties in Marrakesh, Morocco and Montreux, Switzerland valued at $5.9 million.
Puech has had a longstanding rift with his family. When LVMH acquired a substantial stake in Hermès in 2014, it caused Puech to be in an acrimonious battle within the family. He later departed from the company’s board. With complex hurdles and a poor relationship with his family, Puech’s decision to leave his fortune with the gardener may not be as absurd as believed. It remains to be seen how this will play out. Hermès has not commented on the matter.
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