February 21, 2024

By Tara Patel | Bloomberg

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers grew to become the primary girl to amass a $100 billion fortune, marking one other milestone for the heiress and for France’s increasing style and cosmetics industries.

Her wealth jumped to $100.2 billion on Thursday, in keeping with the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The milestone got here as shares of L’Oréal SA, the wonder merchandise empire based by her grandfather, rose to a report excessive, with the inventory set for its finest 12 months since 1998.

Regardless of the achieve, Bettencourt Meyers’ fortune remains to be considerably lower than that of French compatriot Bernard Arnault, founding father of luxurious items purveyor LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, who was second within the world rating with $179.4 billion as of Wednesday’s shut.

France’s rising domination of luxurious retail has spawned a number of different ultra-rich households, together with the clan behind Hermes Worldwide SCA, who’ve amassed Europe’s largest household fortune, and the Wertheimer brothers who personal Chanel.

The reclusive Bettencourt Meyers, 70, is vice-chair of the board of L’Oréal, a globe-spanning $268 billion firm by which she and her household are the one largest shareholders with a stake of almost 35%. Her sons, Jean-Victor Meyers and Nicolas Meyers, are additionally administrators. Run by executives from outdoors the household for many years, the agency was based in 1909 by Bettencourt Meyers’ chemist grandfather, Eugene Schueller, to supply and promote a hair dye he had developed.

Bettencourt Meyers retains her life non-public, shunning the glitzy social life sought by many the world’s rich. She has written two books — a five-volume research of the Bible and a family tree of the Greek gods — and is thought for enjoying piano for hours on daily basis.

As an solely baby, Bettencourt Meyers got here into her wealth following the 2017 demise of her mom, Liliane Bettencourt, with whom she had an at occasions contentious relationship. A authorized battle within the aughts grew from a household feud to a political scandal that centered on whether or not the aged mom was match to handle the household’s wealth. Final month, Netflix Inc. got here out with a three-part documentary, L’Affaire Bettencourt, relating the saga that featured a former French president and secret recordings made by a butler.

L’Oréal grew quickly within the decade main as much as the pandemic however took successful throughout the well being disaster when individuals beneath lockdown used much less make-up. That was adopted by a speedy rebound as customers splurged on luxurious objects, sending the shares up 35% this 12 months.

The corporate’s inventory might rise one other 12% over the subsequent 12 months as its product and geographic variety reveals resilience, in keeping with Client Edge Analysis analyst Brett Cooper.

Bettencourt Meyers additionally chairs her household’s holding firm, Téthys, which has the L’Oréal stake. Her husband, Jean-Pierre Meyers, is chief govt.