Francoise Bettencourt Meyers controls one-third of L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics maker. She’s chairwoman of the holding company that holds the family’s stake, which was attributed to her mother Liliane until her death in 2017. L’Oreal owns the Lancome and Garnier brands, and had revenue of 38.3 billion euros ($41.9 billion) in 2022.
The majority of Bettencourt Meyer’s fortune stems from her stake in L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics company. She inherited the stake when her mother, Liliane, died at age 94, according to a Sept. 21, 2017 company statement. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and her family own 34.7% of L’Oreal’s share capital, according to its 2022 annual financial report.
Under French inheritance law, Bettencourt Meyers must receive a minimum 50% of the estate. The full amount is attributed to her because she’s chairwoman of the family’s holding company, Tethys, according to the annual financial report.
L’Oreal has paid the family more than 10 billion euros ($11.2 billion) in dividends based on an analysis of company filings and Bloomberg data. The value of her cash investments is based on an analysis of those proceeds, market performance, insider transactions, taxes and charitable contributions.
Marie-France Lavarini, a spokeswoman for the late Bettencourt, declined to comment on the net worth calculation.
Bettencourt Meyers is the granddaughter of Eugene Schueller, the founder of cosmetics maker L’Oreal. She was born in 1953 to Andre and Liliane Bettencourt.
Andre Bettencourt, a decorated French war hero who resisted the Nazis, served as a government minister for 20 years and was vice chairman of L’Oreal until 1994. He died in 2007. Her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, joined the business as an apprentice at age 15 and inherited her father’s stake in L’Oreal in 1957. She died in September 2017.
Relations between Bettencourt Meyers and her mother became frayed in 2007, when Bettencourt Meyers filed a lawsuit suggesting that her mother was mentally unfit and had been taken advantage of by her entourage. An October 2011 court ruling placed the family’s assets under the guardianship of Bettencourt Meyers and her two sons. The decision was confirmed in 2012.
An academic, Bettencourt Meyers has written books on Greek mythology and Jewish-Christian relations. With her mother, she founded the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation in 1987, which donates to science research, humanitarian causes and the arts.
Bettencourt Meyers is chairwoman of the family holding company, Tethys, and a L’Oreal board member. One of her two sons, Jean-Victor Meyers, replaced his grandmother, Liliane Bettencourt, on L’Oreal’s board in 2012.
- 1953 Francoise Bettencourt is born to Andre and Liliane Bettencourt.
- 1964 L’Oreal purchases cosmetics and perfume-maker Lancome.
- 1974 Swiss food company Nestle buys an indirect stake in L’Oreal.
- 1997 Becomes a director of L’Oreal.
- 2012 Named chairwoman of family holding company Tethys.
- 2012 Becomes a member of L’Oreal’s strategy and sustainable development committee.
- 2012 Son Jean-Victor Meyers joins her on L’Oreal board.
- 2017 Liliane Bettencourt dies.