Emmanuel Besnier: is there a family office?

This article directly stems from the research process for our European single family office database. Our list of venture capital focused single family offices includes the most important family investment vehicles that invest in promising startups, amongst others within the travel and hospitality sector.

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The Besnier family owns Lactalis, one of the largest global producers of cheese. As of February 2023, Emmanuel has an estimated net worth of $21.9bn, putting him as the 75th richest person in the world according to Forbes. In this article, we will investigate how the Besnier family manages their wealth.

Besnier family manages their wealth through dairy giant Lactalis

The Besnier family founded the company in 1933, the French-based company now has 260 production sites in over 50 countries with an annual revenue of $24bn in 2021. Emmanuel took over as CEO in 2000 from his father Michel. Emmanuel has played a key role in the US expansion of Lactalis through acquisitions of Karoun, Blue Isle, Gopi, and Yanni. His two siblings also hold stakes in the company, combined they own 83% of Lactalis. The trio also owns shares in Parmalat, which is famously known for the production of Babybel. Outside of the dairy business, Emmanuel maintains a key interest in sports, particularly football, and rowing. It is reported Emmanuel donates €200,000 annually to the Francis-Le-Basser football stadium in Laval where he also owns a private box. Emmanuel maintains a low public profile and has been coined the invisible billionaire by the French media.

Picture source: Kenny Eliason

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