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Nicolas Puech, heir of the iconic fashion dynasty Hermès, is allegedly orchestrating a staggering succession saga that involves adopting his 51-year-old gardener.

The eighty-year-old billionaire is unmarried and without children. He plans to legally designate his “former gardener and handyman” from a “modest Moroccan family” as his rightful heir, as reported the Swiss publication Tribune de Geneve.
The move to pass on his immense wealth and real-estate properties to his gardener has sparked intense speculation.

Puech, a fifth-generation descendant of Thierry Hermès, who laid the foundation of the luxury fashion house in 1837, commands a considerable share in the now $220 billion-valued company, ranking among Switzerland’s wealthiest individuals with an estimated worth of $10.3 billion to $11.4 billion.

Allegedly, Puech has initiated legal proceedings, supported a formidable legal team, to formalize the gardener’s adoption, which forms a crucial part of his revised estate arrangements.

The gardener is reportedly married to a woman from Spain, with two children of their own, and stands to inherit a significant portion of Puech’s fortune, which includes acquiring substantial properties in Marrakesh, Morocco and Montreux, Switzerland valued at $5.9 million.
Puech’s history with Hermès provides a glimpse into the motivation behind this choice for his heir.

bitter rift emerged in 2014 when LVMH, a rival luxury conglomerate, acquired a substantial stake in Hermès, sparking an acrimonious battle within the family.

Puech’s departure from the company’s board amid this turmoil signalled irreparable discord with his family members.
“He resigned because he has felt for several years beleaguered members of his family, who have attacked him on several fronts, not only regarding LVMH,” stated a spokesperson for Puech at the time.

Puech’s unconventional plan faces formidable challenges, navigating complex legal hurdles for adult adoption, an exceedingly rare occurrence in Switzerland.
Reports suggest requirements for such adoptions demand a prior relationship during the adoptee’s minor years — a condition potentially challenging to fulfil.
Moreover, conflicting commitments loom large.

Puech had previously committed his fortune to the Isocrates foundation, established him to combat misinformation. Attempts to retract this pledge might trigger a fierce legal battle.
The foundation, in a statement shared with Fortune, opposes any unilateral cancellation of the inheritance contract, signalling a potential legal battle
Reports suggest that the adoption manoeuvre may serve as a legal tactic to preempt any interference from the foundation in Puech’s will.

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