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L'Oreal heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers becomes first woman with $100 billion fortune

By Shannon Thaler

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of the founder of French beauty brand L'Oreal, cracked the $100 billion barrier - becoming the first woman to boast 12-figure fortune.

Bettencourt Meyers, 70, jumped to the No. 12 spot on the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index, after gaining a staggering $836 million as of Wednesday's closing bell to peak at $100.2 billion.

Her net worth fell slightly to $99.9 billion by the close of the day Thursday.

Her wealth puts her among the world's highest earners like Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos.

Bettencourt Meyers' fellow French luxury goods purveyor, Bernard Arnault of LVMH (FR:MC), is sitting in the No. 2 spot on the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index with a $179 billion fortune.

Most of Bettencourt Meyers' wealth is from her stake in L'Oreal (FR:OR), the world's largest cosmetics company, which she inherited following the 2017 death of her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, Bloomberg reported.

Her grandfather founded the company in 1909, and the family has built it into a beauty products empire now worth upwards of $240 billion.

An only child, Bettencourt Meyers was known to have a rocky relationship with her mother, who triggered a political scandal in 2010 after recordings by her former butler sparked probes into President Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 election bid and influence-peddling allegations against former Labor Minister Eric Woerth, Bloomberg reported at the time.

The bitter court battle began as a mere family dispute, after Liliane's roughly $1.3 billion in gifts to a friend made her daughter question whether her elderly mother was fit to manage the family's wealth.

The saga was dramatically reenacted in Netflix's The Billionaire, The Butler, and The Boyfriend, which debuted on the streaming platform in November.

According to L'Oreal's 2022 annual financial report, Bettencourt Meyers and her family own nearly 35% of the company's share capital - a cushy percentage that not only makes them the single biggest shareholders, but has also paid the family more than $11.2 billion in dividends alone, per Bloomberg.

Described as a reclusive billionaire who plays piano for hours each day, Bettencourt Meyers is vice-chair of the board of L'Oreal, which has come to include subsidiaries like Maybelline, Kiehl's and NYX, among other cosmetics companies.

Her sons, Jean-Victor Meyers, 37, and Nicolas Meyers, 35, are also directors.

Bettencourt Meyers also serves as the chair of her family's holding company, Téthys, which has the L'Oreal stake.

Her husband, Jean-Pierre Meyers, serves as chief executive.

Representatives for Bettencourt Meyers at L'Oreal did not immediately respond to The Post's request for comment.

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12-30-23 1017ET

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