Saturday, September 30, 2017
Billionaire Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L’Oreal empire, died last Thursday at the age of 94. Her passing signals a possible shift in L’Oreal ownership as a 43-year-old agreement between Nestlé, the company’s second-largest shareholder behind the Bettencourt family, is set to expire in the next six months. At the end of this term, either party may increase their current holdings in the company. L’Oreal is currently viewed as a willing and able buyer of Nestlé’s shares and may choose to use a 9% holding in Sanofi, a drug maker, to fund the purchase. Such a move has the potential to force L’Oreal to make a takeover bid under French law.
See Sarah White & Sudip Kar-Gupta, Death of World's Richest Woman Shakes Cosmetics Giant, Financial Advisor, September 22, 2017.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.