L’Oréal is a global cosmetics company that almost all human beings have passed on, say. the age of 12, heard of it. The company’s products are EVERYWHERE. The company also created two of the richest women in the world: the late Liliane Bettencourt, daughter of the founder of L’Oréal, and her daughter Françoise Bettencourt Meyers. Before her death, Liliane was the sole heir to L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics company, and a large shareholder of Nestlé. Liliane was one of the most talked about billionaire socialites in France. She was a private person who shared very little her life with the press. After Liliane’s death, Françoise took over the reins of the family business. As of this writing, Françoise is the richest woman in the world, although Mackenzie Bezos and Alice Walton are constantly nibbling on her heels these days.
Eugène Schueller was a French chemist who developed a hair dye formula he called Oréale. He sold this and other products he created to hairdressers in Paris. In July 1919, he registered his company under the name of Société Française de Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux, which in English means Safe Hair Dye Company of France. Eventually, Schueller changed the name of his company to L’Oréal. Schueller funded a violent fascist and anti-communist group called La Cagoule, which he led out of L’Oréal headquarters. The group supported the Nazis.
L’Oréal has diversified into other beauty products. Today, the company manufactures more than 500 brands and thousands of products, including hair dyes, makeup, body and skin care, cleansers and fragrances. L’Oréal has six research and development centers around the world, including two in France, one in the United States, one in Japan, one in China and one in India. A second planned location in the United States is in preparation.
Schueller was born in 1881 and died in 1957. L’Oréal is the largest and most successful cosmetics company in the world.
Born in Paris in 1922, Liliane Bettencourt is the only daughter of Eugène Schueller, the founder of L’Oréal. In 1927, Liliane’s mother, Louise Madeleine Berthe, died when Liliane was only five years old. She went to work in her father’s business as an apprentice at the age of 15 mixing products and labeling bottles. Not much is known about his involvement in the business over the years. In 1950, she married André Bettencourt, a French politician with a pro-Nazi tendency who was vice-president of L’Oréal. Bettencourt had been a member of La Cagoule, a violent French fascist group that Liliane’s father funded and supported in the 1930s and which collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. After the war, her husband, like other members of La Cagoule, took refuge at L’Oréal, despite his politically uneasy past. André and Liliane remained married until her death at the end of 2007. They have a daughter, Françoise, born in 1953. In 1957, at the age of 35, Liliane inherited the L’Oréal empire upon the death of her dad. She occupied an active seat on the Board of Directors of L’Oréal until 1995.
At the time of her death, Liliane Bettencourt held 30.5% of the outstanding shares of L’Oréal, including 12.56% of those held in trust for her daughter. It also owns 29.78% of Nestlé. The Bettencourt family and Nestlé act together, in accordance with a shareholders’ agreement. Bettencourt ended his mandate as director on February 13, 2012 and his grandson, Jean-Victor, was appointed director of the board. Bettencourt’s daughter, Françoise, and her daughter’s husband are also members of the board of directors.
Several years ago, Bettencourt made headlines as one of the foremost victims of doomed Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernie Madoff. She had invested $ 22 million in the hijacker.
Bettencourt was well known for her discipline and hard work. Even when she was 80 and had dementia, she took long walks every day and stayed healthy and fit with several hours of exercise starting at 4 a.m.
Liliane Bettencourt had a net worth of $ 46 billion at the time of her death.
A mother-daughter drama
In 2008, Liliane became the center of a lawsuit and a media frenzy following a lawsuit brought by her daughter Françoise against a friend of her mother’s François-Marie Banier, whom Françoise accused of taking advantage of her mother. Banier vehemently denied the charges against him. The lawsuit alleged that during Banier’s friendship with Liliane, he coerced the octogenarian heiress into giving her gifts worth $ 1.5 billion and making her the sole heir to her fortune. , minus its stake in L’Oréal. The lawsuit put Liliane and her daughter at odds, and the two stopped talking to each other. In 2011, after a three-year legal battle, Liliane’s fortune was placed under the tutelage of her daughter.
When Liliane died at the age of 94, she was the richest woman in the world. Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers inherited the enormous L’Oréal fortune from her mother upon her death. Françoise was Liliane’s sole heir, so when she died, under French law at least half of her mother’s fortune must have passed to her. Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France in July 1953. She is president of the Bettencourt family foundation and of the Bettencourt Schueller foundation. She is also an academic who has written books on Judeo-Christian relations and Greek mythology. Her husband, Jean-Victor Meyers is Jewish. He is the grandson of a murdered rabbi at Auschwitz while Françoise’s grandfather, Eugène Schueller, was on trial for collaboration with the Nazi government. When Françoise and Jean-Victor got married, it caused quite a scandal. Françoise and Jean-Victor have revealed that they were raising their children as Jews, which also caused a sensation in the Bettencourt family. Meyers is the author of the books “The Greek Gods” and “A Look at the Bible”.
Like her mother, Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers is a very private person. From 2020, Bettencourt-Meyers is the company’s largest shareholder, with a 33.14% stake. She has a net worth of $ 65 billion which makes her the richest woman in the world.