L’Oreal heiress is first woman to amass a fortune of $100 billion
The L’Oréal heiress and businesswoman, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, has become the first woman to amass a fortune of $100 billion, according to media reports.
Bettencourt Meyers broke through the barrier on Thursday thanks to a rise in the share price of the cosmetics empire she inherited from her mother, who also held the title of the world’s richest woman until her death in 2017.
Based in the north-western Parisian suburb of Clichy, in the region of Hauts-de-Seine, it has grown into a globe-straddling colossus valued at €241 billion (£209 billion) on the Paris Stock Exchange.
The famously reclusive Bettencourt Meyers, 70, and her family remain the largest shareholders with a stake of nearly 35 per cent, the value of which has helped her wealth balloon by $28.6 billion this year to reach $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bettencourt Meyers was far from alone in growing richer during a year in which the fortunes of billionaires generally increased significantly, even as the cost of living crisis-affected countries worldwide.
Of the world’s 50 richest people, 12 lost money in 2023 while the remainder watched their piles grow, albeit without adjusting for inflation.
In a list dominated by men, mostly from the US, Bettencourt Meyers remains 12th in a ranking topped by Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX founder.
Bettencourt Meyers was not the highest-placed French person. Bernard Arnault, the luxury goods tycoon, has a $179 billion fortune that has grown by $16.9 billion in 2023, thanks to the performance of his LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) group.