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Francoise Bettencourt Meyers & Family


Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of L'Oreal's founder, holds the distinction of being the wealthiest woman globally. She and her family possess over a third of publicly traded L'Oreal, with Bettencourt Meyers serving on the company's board since 1997 and chairing the family holding company.

In 2017, she inherited the title of France's reigning L'Oreal heiress following her mother Liliane Bettencourt's passing at age 94. Additionally, Bettencourt Meyers presides over her family's philanthropic foundation, which focuses on fostering progress in French sciences and arts.

Notably, L'Oreal and the Bettencourt Meyers family jointly contributed $226 million for the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral after the devastating April 2019 fire. At 70 years old, Bettencourt Meyers made history as the first woman to amass a fortune exceeding $100 billion, marking her entry into the esteemed billionaire club. The enduring success of the beauty products empire, valued at over $240 billion, underscores the effective stewardship of the Bettencourt Meyers family.

Tethys, the holding company of the Bettencourt-Meyers family, stands as the largest shareholder of L'Oréal. Led by Françoise Bettencourt Meyers as Chair and Jean-Pierre Meyers as CEO, Tethys established Tethys Invest in March 2016. This subsidiary, also a major shareholder of L'Oréal, focuses on direct, long-term investments in entrepreneurial ventures. Alexandre Benais serves as CEO of Tethys Invest.

Tethys Investments

Tethys Investments specializes in lower-middle-markets, engaging in growth and distressed-assets investing primarily in Eurasia. The company plans to collaborate with other Funds and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to provide substantial capital, resources, and global access to portfolio companies. They emphasize the belief that impact-oriented, long-term investments yield the highest risk-adjusted returns for both investors and communities.

In North America, Tethys Investments concentrates its investment strategy on early and seed-stage VC Funds or startups. Leveraging its established network and expertise in the Greater Boston area, MIT, Harvard, and other startup hubs, Tethys aims to connect investors with promising startups of the future. This involves deploying resources through established VC Funds, leading startup accelerators, experienced Angel Investors, and top crowdfunding platforms in the USA.

Tethys Investment Criteria

Tethys Investments seeks to invest in businesses demonstrating attributes such as high returns on internally invested capital, sound business strategies, strong market positions, export orientation, and talented management teams. They target businesses with revenue ranging from $5 million to $50 million over the past two years, particularly focusing on gross margins exceeding 25% and EBITDA margins surpassing 10%.

Tethys Investment Types

For equity investments

Tethys considers various deal types, including minority investments in established companies seeking expansion capital, majority or minority investments in new ventures, co-investments alongside strategic investors, positions in distressed-assets, and, in exceptional cases, buyouts with a qualified management team.

Regarding debt investments

Tethys considers companies with strong management teams and a track record of efficient capital deployment. They typically structure debt investments using senior secured loans with conservative collateral and cash flow covenants. Additionally, Tethys may explore convertible debt instruments and bridge loans, subject to rigorous due diligence and decision-making frameworks.