L'Oreal heiress, richest woman in the world died

L'Oreal heiress, richest woman in the world died

L'Oreal cosmetics heiress Liliane Bettencourt, listed by Forbes as the richest woman in the world with a fortune of nearly $50 billion, has died at the age of 94.

"My mother left peacefully", her daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers said. Forbes magazine estimated her fortune to be worth $39.5 billion this year.

"We all had a great admiration for Liliane Bettencourt", stated chairman and CEO of L'Oreal Jean-Paul Agon. The first and worst case involved her financial manager, who was accused of transferring cash envelopes to members of the party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy during his election campaign.

The product of a strict Catholic upbringing, she started helping out with the company at age 15, sticking labels on bottles of shampoo and mixing cosmetics.

Bettencourt passed away in the early hours of Thursday after suffering from dementia at her old age.

Schueller, the son of bakers from the eastern Alsace region, initially named his company Aureale, but changed it to L'Oreal in 1939.




Liliane Bettencourt inherited the L'Oreal fortune upon the death of her father in 1957. He died in 2007.

In this Wednesday Jan. 26, 2011file photo, l'Oreal cosmetics heiress Liliane Bettencourt attends Franck Sorbier's spring/summer 2011 Haute Couture fashion collection, in Paris, Paris.

During those years, neither Mr Schueller nor Mr Bettencourt were able to shake accusations of pro-Nazi sympathies and anti-Semitism despite their close association with Francois Mitterrand, the former socialist president.

Sarkozy himself was cleared in 2013 of preliminary charges. Banier, who denied the allegations, was convicted of exploiting Bettencourt and sentenced to three years in jail, a sentence that was later reduced by six months, the New York Times reports.

L'Oreal is France's fourth-largest listed company. The company owns brands like Lancome, Garnier and La Roche-Posay.

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