Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers
Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers.
Associated Press

Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers just inherited the £79.3 billion
L’Oreal fortune following the death of her mother, Liliane
Bettencourt.

By some estimates this makes the 64-year-old the richest woman on
earth — though
other calculations put Walmart billionaire Alice Walton on
top
.

94-year-old Bettencourt was the richest woman in the world until
she died on Wednesday.

The Bettencourt family, which founded L’Oreal, has a 33% stake in
the company, which was worth $107.5 billion (£79.3
billion) as of May 2017.

In 2016 the company reported revenue of €25.8 billion (£22.8
billion), according to
Bloomberg.

Bettencourt’s father Eugene Schueller founded the company in
1907, and when he died she was his only heir.

As of Friday morning, her net worth was $46.3 billion (£34.2
billion), according to Forbes.

As Bettencourt’s only child, under French law Bettencourt-Meyers,
who heads the family’s investment company, will inherit, according to
Bloomberg
, and must receive at least half of her mother’s
estate.

In 2011, her properties alone
included
a Classical style villa in the Paris suburb of
Neuilly-sur-Seine, a mansion off of the Brittany Coast, and a
secluded island in Seychelles.


Liliane Bettencourt and Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers
Liliane Bettencourt and
daughter Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers at Paris Fashion Week in
2011.

AP Photo/Thibault
Camus


Bettencourt-Meyers was born on July 10, 1953.

According to
WealthX
, she serves as the president of her own family
foundation, the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, which had
around $683 million (£504 million) in assets as of 2010. She also
has an academic career, and is the author of books on Greek
mythology and Jewish-Christian relations.

She is married to Jean-Victor Meyers, the grandson of a rabbi who
was murdered in Auschwitz.

The marriage was controversial, as her grandfather, Eugène
Schueller, was tried for
collaboration with the Nazi regime
.

But this is hardly the only controversial trial in her
family history.

In 2008, Bettencourt-Meyers
filed a criminal complaint against François-Marie Banier
, a
well-known French photographer and long-time friend of her
mother.

She accused him of taking advantage of her mother’s confused
mental state to defraud the aging heiress of more than $1 billion
in cash and gifts. The case became known as “The Bettencourt
Affair.”

François-Marie Banier allegedly manipulated Bettencourt into
giving him cash, expensive art, and life insurance policies.


Liliane Bettencourt and her daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers
Liliane Bettencourt and
daughter Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers at Paris Fashion Week in
2012.


Pascal Le
Segretain / Getty



The investigation drove a wedge between Bettencourt and her
daughter, and the pair only mended their relationship after the
lawsuit against Banier was dropped in late 2010.

However, in October 2011, a judge decared that Bettencourt was
mentally unfit to manage the family’s wealth, placing it under
the legal control of her daughter and grandsons.

She had since been under their guardianship, and was replaced on
L’Oréal’s board by Jean-Victor Meyers in 2012, Forbes reported.

“In this painful moment for us, I would like to reiterate, on
behalf of our family, our entire commitment and loyalty to
L’Oreal and to renew my confidence in its President Jean-Paul
Agon and his teams worldwide,” Bettencourt-Meyers said in an
emailed statement.



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