The Bettencourt family remains the primary shareholder of L’Oreal, with a 33 per cent stake in the French fragrance giant that was founded in 1907 by Eugene Bettencourt. This came to be after a deal was announced as recently as January 2014 that L’Oreal had sealed a buy-back of 8 per cent of its shares from consumer goods giant Nestle.
According to Forbes, the Bettencourt family has a net worth of $52.9 billion, which is now controlled by Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, the only child of Liliane and Andre Bettencourt, a French politician. Upon the death of her mother in September 2017 (her father had died ten years prior), Francois took over her mother’s mantle as the richest woman in the world and the 14th richest person overall.
At L’Oreal, she acts as Non-Executive Chairwoman and owner, presiding over an empire that had annual revenue in 2017 of €26 billion and employs some 89,000 people worldwide. Subsidiary brands include Lancome, Maybelline, Garnier, Yves Saint Lauren and Giorgio Armani, to name a few. L’Oreal also has a 10 percent share in the world’s third-biggest pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis.
Bettencourt also serves a the president of her own family foundation, the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, which according to Business Insider had around $683 million in assets as of 2010 and contributes to a number of causes.