Published On: Sat, Sep 23rd, 2017

World’s richest woman and L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt dies aged 94

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Liliane Bettencourt Death : The world’s richest woman Liliane Bettencourt with a net worth of $44.3 billion and also heiress to French cosmetics company L’Oreal, passed away aged 94 in Paris on Thursday.

She had a peaceful death at her Paris home and on 21 October would have turned 95 years old according to a press release from her daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers.

At the time of her death, Liliane Bettencourt was one of the main shareholders of L’Oréal which was fonded by her father Eugène Schueller more than hundred years ago.

Eugène Schueller has been credited for the invention of modern hair dye which took L’Oréal to great heights.

His daughter Liliane Bettencourt had been closely associated with L’Oréal affairs following the death of her father Eugène Schueller in 1957 by looking after the family’s stake of 33% in the French cosmetics company.

Liliane Bettencourt photo

Liliane Bettencourt. Photo courtesy of L’Oréal.

In 1950, Liliane Bettencourt got married to French politician André Bettencourt who died in 2007 at the age of 88.

L’Oréal CEO Comments on Liliane Bettencourt Death

L’Oréal Group Chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Agon commenting on Liliane Bettencourt death news said: “All of L’Oréal’s employees join me in expressing our most sincere condolences and affectionate thoughts in these sad moments to Mrs. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, Mr. Jean-Pierre Meyers, and their two sons Jean-Victor and Nicolas.

“We all had a great admiration for Liliane Bettencourt who always looked after L’Oréal, the company and its employees, and was very attached to its success and development.

“She has personally contributed greatly to its success for many years.

“Mrs Liliane Bettencourt was a great lady of beauty who has left us and whom we will never forget.”

In 2004, Liliane Bettencourt and Nestle had reached an agreement that none of them would raise their stakes in L’Oréal during the lifetime of the former and for six months following her demise. The food and beverage giant Nestle is the second biggest shareholder after the Bettencourt family in the French cosmetics company with a stake of 23%.

However, with Liliane Bettencourt death, Nestle could make a move in taking over L’Oréal once the agreement with the late Liliane Bettencourt ceases in March 2018.

Nestle entered into L’Oréal business in 1974 when the Bettencourt family was concerned about the cosmetics company getting nationalized by the then French government.

With revenue of €25.8 billion in 2016, L’Oréal is undoubtedly the biggest cosmetics company in the world.

Liliane Bettencourt served on L’Oréal board from 1957 to 2012 before she quit at the age of 89 following a legal battle with her daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers argued that her mother could no longer manage her own affairs, leave alone the company’s business.

Since 2006, Liliane Bettencourt was suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as established by a medical report five years later which forced her to quit L’Oréal. Following that, her public appearance became rare.

Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers Statement on Liliane Bettencourt Death

Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers on her mother Liliane Bettencourt death said: “In this painful moment for us, I would like to reiterate, on behalf of our family, our entire commitment and loyalty to L’Oréal and to renew my confidence in its President Jean-Paul Agon and his teams worldwide.

“My parents have not only been able to help the development of L’Oréal. They have also founded a caritative Foundation that I am glad of chairing today.”

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