09/11/2012 07:03 EDT | Updated 11/11/2012 05:12 EST

French tycoons in war of words over country's planned 75 per cent tax on the superrich

PARIS - The tycoon stakeholder of French newspaper Liberation is defending his paper's stinging criticism of another tycoon: Europe's richest man, Bernard Arnault, who is seeking citizenship in Belgium, where taxes are lower.

Edouard de Rothschild said his paper's controversial headline Monday that told Arnault — who's worth an estimated $41 billion — to "Get lost, rich jerk" amounted to a "beautiful marketing operation."

It's thought that Arnault —the CEO of fashion giant LVMH — is trying to dodge the Socialist government's planned 75 per cent tax on the highest earners — a charge he vehemently denies. Arnault is suing the paper for "public injury."

In a jibe, Rothschild said he would pay French taxes "wholeheartedly."

The newspaper plastered its Tuesday edition with ads for a top LVMH rival, fashion house YSL.