L'oreal Heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers First Woman To Cross $100B Wealth Milestone

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In a historic milestone for women in business, 70-year-old Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the heiress to the L’Oreal fortune, has become the first woman to exceed a net worth of $100 billion.

What Happened: Bettencourt Meyers’ wealth rose to a staggering $100.2 billion, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The significant increase in her wealth is primarily connected to the record-breaking shares of L'Oréal SA (OTC:LRLCY), the beauty magnate established by her grandfather, experiencing its most successful year since 1998.

Despite this considerable fortune, Bettencourt Meyers is still behind Bernard Arnault, the founder of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (OTC:LVMUY), whose wealth is estimated at $179.4 billion. The thriving luxury retail sector in France has led to the creation of several ultra-wealthy families.

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The Bettencourt Meyers family owns the majority stake in L'Oréal, roughly 35%. The company, which has a market value of €241 billion ($268 billion), has been under the management of non-family executives for multiple decades.

Following her mother’s passing in 2017, Bettencourt Meyers’ fortune received a substantial boost. A legal battle over the family’s wealth became a political scandal, recently featured in a three-part documentary on Netflix.

According to Brett Cooper, an analyst at Consumer Edge Research, L'Oréal’s stock could see a further rise of around 12% in the coming year, thanks to its product range and global diversity.

Why It Matters: The rise of Bettencourt Meyers’ fortune marks a significant shift in the wealth landscape, historically dominated by men. In April 2023, the wealth gap between men and women has been gradually narrowing as more women assume leadership and ownership roles in companies. High-profile business figures like Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Gautam Adani, and Bill Gates have traditionally dominated the world's richest rankings.

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Image by nitpicker via Shutterstock


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