L'Oreal Heiress Is First Woman With $100B

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers is the world's richest woman, 12th richest person
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2023 12:30 AM CST
L'Oreal Heiress Is First Woman With $100B
Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, daughter of L'Oreal cosmetics fortune heiress Liliane Bettencourt and board member of the leading world cosmetics group, smiles during a visit with French prime Minister Manuel Valls at L'oreal Headquarters in Clichy, north outskirts of Paris, France, Nov. 3, 2014.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, heiress to the L'Oreal cosmetics empire and the world's richest woman, is now also the first female to amass a $100 billion fortune. L'Oreal's stock rose 35% this year to hit a record high, which CNN attributes to shoppers "splurging on luxury products" post-pandemic. The Bloomberg Billionaire's Index, which currently lists Bettencourt Meyers as the world's 12th richest person, announced her $100 billion milestone Thursday. L'Oreal, the biggest cosmetics company in the world after acquiring rival brands including Lancome, Kiehl's, and Maybelline, was founded by Bettencourt Meyers' grandfather, Eugène Schueller, in France in 1909, the New York Post reports. Bettencourt Meyers is the only child of his only child, daughter Liliane Bettencourt, and inherited her mother's stake in the company when Bettencourt died in 2017.

L'Oreal is worth more than $240 billion, and as of last year, Bettencourt Meyers and her family owned almost 35% of its stock, making them the biggest shareholders. She is the chairwoman of the family's holding company (of which her husband is CEO) and the vice chairwoman of the L'Oreal Group's board of directors (on which her two sons also sit), and is otherwise described as "reclusive" and is said to play piano for hours a day. Years back, a family scandal that started with a dispute between her and her mother turned into a national political scandal involving recordings made by a former butler that led to investigations into Nicolas Sarkozy, then France's president, and another government official. That tale is now a Netflix docuseries. (More L'Oreal stories.)

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