On Friday, the world’s wealthiest woman, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, saw a significant drop in her net worth. This was due to a sharp decline in the shares of L’Oreal, a French beauty company in which she and her family own about one-third. The company’s shares experienced their worst single-day performance since the Great Recession, leading to a $6.9 billion reduction in Bettencourt Meyers and her family’s fortune, which now stands at $91.7 billion.
Despite the decline, Bettencourt Meyers remains the 15th-richest person on the planet and the richest woman by far, with a fortune roughly $26 billion larger than the second-richest woman, Alice Walton. The drop in L’Oreal’s stock price came after the firm’s quarterly sales fell short of analyst estimates, with a significant slowdown in its Asia business. As a result, the stock fell nearly 8% to a three-month low on Friday, marking the worst day for Paris-listed shares of L’Oreal since October 27, 2008.
Bettencourt Meyers owes much of her wealth to her family’s stake in L’Oreal. She is the granddaughter of Eugène Schueller who founded it and Liliane Bettencourt’s sole daughter who was once considered as world’s wealthiest woman herself. She serves as vice chairwoman of L’Oreal’s board. The sixth-most valuable company in Europe by market capitalization and its subsidiaries include well-known brands such as Kiehl’s, Maybelline and Garnier.