This French billionaire just pledged over $100 million to rebuild the Notre Dame


Francois Pinault and his family have an estimated worth of more than $30 billion and own brands including Gucci and Saint Laurent.

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With news that a fire had torn through the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, 82-year-old French billionaire Francois Pinault has pledged to donate 100 million euros - more than $150 million AUD - to help rebuild the 850-year-old structure, French media are reporting.

Just hours after the blaze began, it was reported that Pinault and his son - Francois-Henri, himself a billionaire - would release the funds to assist in the cathedral's complete reconstruction process.

In a statement quoted by Le Figaro, the significant donation will be sourced from their company Artemis Group, which owns auction house Christie's, French football club Rennais and winery Chateau Latour.

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It's understood the news was broken by Agence France Presse.

Pinault and his family were #30 on this year's Forbes Rich List, with a current estimated net worth of $35 billion USD.

In 1963, Pinault Snr founded Kering, initially a wood and construction business. By 1999 the family switched to luxury goods. Kering, worth roughly $15.3 billion USD, now owns several luxury brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen.

He remains honorary chairman of the group, which is now run by his son, Francois Henri.

According to Forbes, the Pinault family's wealth has tripled in the past nine years. It's understood they also own a 3,000 piece art collection, with plans to open a museum in 2020.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that he plans to launch a national fundraising campaign to restore the Notre Dame.

"We will rebuild Notre Dame because this is what the French expect, because this is what our history deserves, because it is our destiny."