Share |

FB Roundup: Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, Klaus-Michael Kuehne, Masatoshi Ito

In this week’s FB Roundup, L’Oreal heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers names new investment firm MD; Klaus-Michael Kuehne is to receive $4.5 billion dividends from his transport empire; and tributes are paid to 7-Eleven billionaire Masatoshi Ito.
The world’s richest woman, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers.

L’Oreal heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers names new investment firm MD
The world’s richest woman, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, has named Cyrielle Villepelet as managing director of her investment company, Tethys Invest, according to Bloomberg.

In a move that further bolsters her family’s wealth, following a surge in the value of L’Oreal (the cosmetics company founded by her grandfather), Bettencourt Meyers has brought Villepelet across from the Paris office of global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company to work alongside ongoing chief executive Alexandre Benais.

Set up by Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and her husband Jean-Pierre Meyers in 2016, Tethys Invest aims to make direct investments in entrepreneurial projects which do not directly compete with L’Oreal, such as retailer Sezane, private equity company General Atlantic and French private hospital operator Elsan.

The 69-year-old heiress, who is the biggest single shareholder of L’Oreal with a stake of 35 per cent, has an estimated net worth of $188.3 billion (according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index), thanks to an increased interest in luxury goods that has also benefitted the likes of LVMH head Bernard Arnault, Gucci owner Francois Pinault and the Chanel-owning Wertheimer brothers.

Bettencourt Meyers and her two sons, Jean-Victor Meyers and Nicolas Meyers sit on the board of L’Oreal. Shares of the cosmetics firm have more than doubled in the past five years, with the company now valued at around $217 billion.

Klaus-Michael Kuehne to receive $4.5 billion dividends from transport empire
Germany’s richest person, Klaus-Michael Kuehne, is set to receive $4.5 billion in dividends this year following a windfall from his growing transport empire, Kuehne + Nagel International.

The world’s largest air and sea freight business, Kuehne + Nagel last week announced a planned payout of $14.90 a share, a 40 per cent increase from the previous year. This will result in Kuehne receiving nearly $1 billion from his 53 per cent stake if shareholders approve the proposal.

That dividend is in addition to the $3.5 billion Kuehne stands to gain from his 30 per cent holding in container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd and the sale of his stake in German airline Lufthansa.

The child-free Kuehne, 85, who has an estimated net worth of $41.4 billion and is the 29th-richest person in the world (according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index), has named his closest adviser and vice president of his non-profit Swiss foundation, Thomas Staehelin, as successor.

Tributes paid to 7-Eleven billionaire Masatoshi Ito
Masatoshi Ito, the Japanese billionaire who helped turn 7-Eleven convenience stores into a global business empire with more than 83,000 stores around the world, has died aged 98.

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to him for his kindness during his lifetime,” operating firm Seven & i Holdings said in a statement.

Mr. Ito’s career was launched in 1956 after he took over a small Tokyo apparel business from his uncle and half-brother. Having rebranded as Ito-Yokado and pivoted into a chain of convenience stores, the firm went public in 1972. Ito-Yokado later secured a deal with the owner of US chain 7-Eleven and opened Japan’s first franchised 7-Eleven in 1974.

“[He was] one of the world's outstanding entrepreneurs and business builders,” said Austrian-American management guru Peter Drucker, a long-time friend of Mr. Ito.

Mr. Ito's firm later moved to acquire a controlling stake in US holding company, Southland Corporation, in March 1990, thereby acquiring global rights to the 7-Eleven name.

“I am frequently asked if I succeeded because of hard work or because I was just lucky. Actually the answer is some of both,” said Mr. Ito in an interview. “I was fortunate to have started out in business right after the war - the same time that a broad-based consumer society was beginning to develop in Japan.”

Ito-Yokado was later renamed Seven & i Holdings in 2005, with the “i” in its name a nod to Mr. Ito, the company’s honorary chairman.

Click here >>