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Liliane Bettencourt, the world’s richest woman, dies at 94

Liliane Bettencourt at the L'Oreal-UNESCO prize for women in Paris, 2012.

Liliane Bettencourt, the world’s richest woman, dies at 94

The L'Oreal heiress has passed away at the impressive age of 94.

Liliane Bettencourt, the world’s richest woman, dies at 94

The daughter of the man who began the cosmetics empire L’Oreal has passed away. Liliane Bettencourt was the heiress to L’Oreal, which her father Eugene Schueller started as a hair dye company in 1907.

A French businesswoman, Bettencourt and her children owned 33% of L’Oreal, the fourth-largest listed company in France. Bettencourt began working for Schueller as a teenager, labelling shampoo bottles and mixing cosmetics. She inherited the family fortune in 1957 when her father died.  

A spokesperson from Nestle, which has invested with L’Oreal since 1974 and owns approximately 23% of the company, expressed their sadness. “It’s time to send our sincere condolences to Madame Bettencourt’s family.” Bettencourt entrusted close to 50% of her personal stake in L’Oreal to Nestle for a 3% holding in the chocolate company.

In a statement, Bettencourt’s daughter Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers said that the family would maintain its committment to L’Oreal. “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,” she said.

Bettencourt died on Wednesday night in her Paris home at 94 years of age. “My mother left peacefully,” Bettencourt-Meyers confirmed.

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