Europe's wealthiest woman owns 31 percent of French cosmetics company L'Oréal, which controls the Kiehl's, Lancôme and Garnier brands. A court ruling in October 2011 appointed Bettencourt's daughter, Francoise, and two grandsons as protectors of the clan's 103-year-old empire. The court rejected Bettencourt's appeal to have them removed as her guardians in January.
Nestle SA is exploring ways to reduce its $30 billion stake in L’Oreal SA and has signaled its intentions to the management of the world’s largest cosmetics maker, people with knowledge of the matter said.
L’Oreal SA heiress Liliane Bettencourt faces 77,752,139 euros ($105 million) in back taxes and penalties on undeclared accounts in Switzerland and Singapore and real estate, including an island in the Seychelles, Mediapart reported today, citing tax authority documents.
Bloomberg Markets’ inaugural list of the world’s richest people showcases the billionaires who pull the levers on the global economy. Their net worth totals $2.7 trillion, about the size of the gross domestic product of France, the fifth-biggest economy on the planet.
Nestle SA and L’Oreal SA began a partnership in 1974 out of fear France’s government might nationalize the cosmetics company. Forty years later, L’Oreal is slowly unraveling itself from the grip of its Swiss partner.
L’Oreal SA, the world’s largest cosmetics maker, agreed to buy back 8 percent of its stock from Nestle SA for 6 billion euros ($8.2 billion), the first sale of shares by the Swiss company after four decades of ownership.