Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the heiress to the L’Oreal cosmetics fortune and a board member of the beauty giant, has made history by becoming the first woman to accumulate a $100 billion net worth. Her wealth soared as L’Oreal shares hit record highs.
Bettencourt Meyers Claims Title as Wealthiest Woman After L’Oreal Stock Surge
According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, the valuation of L’Oreal shares, in which Bettencourt Meyers and her family own a 33% stake, rose significantly in recent weeks. This led the 68-year-old’s net worth to skyrocket, making her the first woman ever to cross the $100 billion mark.
Her fortune places Bettencourt Meyers as the world’s 17th richest person overall. She surpasses other wealthy heirs like Elon Musk’s mother Maye Musk, German container shipping heiress Heike Herzog, and Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart.
As L’Oreal’s largest shareholder, Bettencourt Meyers has already held the title of the wealthiest woman in the world for years prior. But now, her net worth elevation firmly cements her position at the very top.
|Francoise Bettencourt Meyers
|Source of Wealth
|Inheritance and ownership stake in L’Oreal Group
Daughter of L’Oreal Founder Reaps Benefits of Cosmetics Company’s Growth
Bettencourt Meyers is the only daughter of L’Oreal’s founder Eugene Schueller. When he died in 1957, Bettencourt Meyers’ mother Liliane inherited his fortune. This included the family’s massive 33% stake in L’Oreal.
When Liliane died in 2017, Francoise inherited her mother’s shares and board seat. Together with her husband Jean-Pierre Meyers and two sons, they now hold the largest chunk of L’Oreal stock.
Over the decades, L’Oreal has grown from a French hair dye supplier into the worlds largest cosmetics group spanning luxury skincare, make-up, fragrance and haircare products.
Under the leadership of current CEO Nicolas Hieronimus, L’Oreal has delivered consecutive quarters in 2022 of double-digit earnings and sales increases despite inflationary pressures. Its share price grew around 20% over the past year.
This growth directly contributes to ballooning the billionaire heiress’ fortune to heights never seen before by a woman.
Reclusive Billionaire Plays Key Role on L’Oreal Board
Despite boasting such vast wealth, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers maintains an extremely private life in France and shies away from lavish displays of luxury.
Colleagues describe her style and demeanor as modest. She often opts for discrete dark-colored clothing and little to no jewelry when making her rare public appearances.
Her reclusive nature extends to granting media interviews as well. Over the decades, she has only given brief comments regarding L’Oreal twice.
However, behind the scenes sources report Bettencourt Meyers as being actively engaged on L’Oreal’s board.
As the company’s largest shareholder, she holds significant sway over long term strategic decisions. Bettencourt Meyers also heads the family’s massive investment holding company, which boasts financial stakes beyond just L’Oreal.
She leverages these vast resources to fund her passions such as promoting literature, arts, and French culture through the family’s Bettencourt Schueller Foundation.
Great Growth Potential Remains for L’Oreal and Bettencourt Meyers’ Fortune
Industry analysts predict strong continued success for L’Oreal, citing its broad portfolio of beauty brands catering to diverse markets and price points. Its digital and e-commerce investments also position it well to benefit from these trends.
Barring any market fluctuations, these factors indicate Bettencourt Meyers’ net worth will likely keep growing. She could potentially even become the world’s first woman to reach $200 billion as L’Oreal continues expanding globally.
Forbes forecasts the company’s annual sales growth to average around 13% from 2023-2025. Hitting these estimates and maintaining profitability would translate to similar share price and market valuation increases.
However, some speculate Bettencourt Meyers may eventually reduce the family’s concentration in L’Oreal stock as part of long term estate planning. This could slow, but likely not reverse, the rapid inflation of her wealth.
So while $200 billion remains years away, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers has made history by crossing $100 billion first. Her breakthrough represents a groundbreaking achievement for women that seemed nearly unattainable just years prior. With L’Oreal’s ongoing prosperity, more firsts for the world’s now wealthiest woman likely await as well.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.