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Latest Articles - Luxury

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Liliane Bettencourt – Money Does Smell

Saturday, 17 July 2010

liliane bettencourtThe names of people who can boast with their wealth are known to anyone and their personal and social life exerts the attention of the wide public and mass media either. Nevertheless, the cases are not rare when too wealthy people prefer living a restricted life and the details of their life are revealed only when scandals occur. Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress and owner of the cosmetic empire L’Oreal, grasped the same fate.

Till up to date, we knew too little about Liliane Bettencourt. In total, all we know is the list of her biographical data and we know more after we thoroughly learn this information. Liliane is the only daughter to the famous French businessman Eugene Schuler who founded a small company to manufacture and sell cosmetic products in the beginning of the previous century. The company was renamed into L’Oreal since 30s which is one of the major cosmetic brands in the world.

Liliane was born in 1922 and she was too close to her father since early childhood, when she lost her mother in 1927. Yet, Liliane was close to her father and his partner in his business battles.

In 1950 it was time for Liliane to build a family and she married to André Bettencourt and she delivered Françoise in 1956 in this marriage. And in general, this is all the data we know as about the person. The reason is her unsociability regarding the out society so typical to wealthy people. Liliane who has the restricted temper preferred staying alone as in the childhood when her father stayed at work most time and she was alone. Besides, she does not like being interviewed and we know only tow of them.

The business instinct, adherence to accurate data and figures and punctuality and the ability to choose professional assistants to manage the company inherited from her father helped her to make L’Oreal one of the flourishing companies in the cosmetic segment of the market to the end of XX – beginning of XXI centuries. Within 2004-2007 the personal wealth of Bettencourt was evaluated as 22-24 billion dollars which made her one of the wealthiest women of the world and the wealthiest woman in France. The world financial crisis influenced her profits, though 15 billion dollars she disposes make her feel rather comfortable and quiet about losses.

The person who cannot live a quiet life is her daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, the potential heiress of the enormous wealth of Liliane. And here goes the reason of that scandal occurred in the Bettencourt family. The point is that Francoise got a fairly dangerous competitor in the potential argues for the enormous and L’Oreal smelling money. In 1987 Liliane Bettencourt got in know with a forty-year old photographer, an artist, a writer and a playwright Francois-Marie Banier. Banier became a close friend to Liliane and the friendship which seemed to be a caprice of an old woman at the edge of the senility, appeared to be surprisingly lasting. Recently in view of her age (she will be 88 this year) there is some information circulated that Banier will inherit the wealth of Liliane. There are two cases when Banier could get the fortune, either if Liliane adopts him or marries him. The more so because in 2007 Liliane Bettencourt became a widow. In this case Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers seriously risk having lesser fingers in that «pie», than as if she inherited the total empire and fortune.

Francoise got really worried in 2009 when she learned that within twenty yeas of friendship with Liliane Francois-Marie Banier received an amount of 1 billion Euros in cash and in works of art, flats and many other gifts. In view of that, Francoise felt anxious for the further inheritance and the mental adequacy of her mother who shoed her ability to spend her wealth for the favor of potential shady dealer. So, in summer 2009 Francoise took the inquiry to the court on the request to initiate the legal procedure and recognize Liliane Bettencourt as the incapable person. She required to be her mother’s guardian. In most such cases the closest relative is assigned as the guardian to the person and Francoise was sure to have this tutorship. She got the permit and in December 2009 she initiated the immediate legal proceeding to announce her mother incapable and at the same time she asked the court to recognize Francois-Marie Banier as the fraud. How the process is going and what is the end of it is difficult to say. Both parties have strong arguments in their favor though the only thing is definite that all people know about the Bettencourt family and how they live.

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