Worlds Richest Women
World?s largest retailer benefited as cash-strapped shoppers looked to discount merchandise at start of economic slump. Boost may have waned; recently reported 1.6% decline in same-store sales in its U.S. Walmart and Sam?s Club stores, warned of soft sales in current quarter. Still, shares are up 7% in past 12 months and family fortune rose a combined $13 billion, largely recovering losses from market crash. Sam Walton started as J.C. Penney clerk. Opened Benjamin Franklin five-and-dime in 1945; lost lease five years later. Founded Bentonville, Ark., general store with brother James in 1962. Today Walmart has $405 billion in annual sales, 2 million employees, more than 8,400 stores. Christy is the richest of the Waltons thanks to late husband John?s early bet on First Solar; alternative energy stock up more than 350% since 2006 public offering.
Arkansas benefactor funded $100 million airport in Bentonville in 1990; building Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. World?s largest retailer benefited as cash-strapped shoppers looked to discount merchandise at start of economic slump. Boost may have waned; recently reported 1.6% decline in same-store sales in its U.S. Wal-Mart and Sam?s Club stores, warned of soft sales in current quarter. Still, shares up 7% in past 12 months and family fortune rose a combined $13 billion, largely recovering losses from market crash
Makeup heiress? fortune rebounding with L?Oreal shares. Company, founded by her father, celebrated its 100th birthday in 2009. Last year only daughter and heir, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, petitioned courts to investigate reported $1.4 billion worth of cash and gifts her mother allegedly gave to Francois-Marie Banier, 61, a well-known photographer, writer and painter whom she befriended. Daughter claims Banier took advantage of her mother, who became a widow in 2007. Liliane denies it; has been ordered to undergo psychological testing before July trial. Mother and daughter apparently no longer speak.
Birgit Rausing & family
After death of her husband Gad Rausing in 2000, with her three children, inherited packaging giant Tetra Laval. In 1944 her father-in-law founded the company, which revolutionized the packaging of liquids such as juices and milk. Today sales are $15.3 billion. All of her children sit on Tetra Laval?s board; son Jorn is head of mergers and acquisitions. Son Finn is chairman of the board of the Swedish R.R. Institute of Applied Economics. Daughter Kirsten is a horse breeder in the U.K. Birgit lives quietly in Switzerland.
Steel and power. India
Nonexecutive chair of the O.P. Jindal Group, a steel and power conglomerate founded by her late husband, Om Prakash Jindal, in 1952. Took over group after he died in a helicopter crash in 2005. In his lifetime, patriarch had handed down operations to their four sons, Prithviraj, Sajjan, Ratan and Naveen, who today run their independent units. Net worth up $9.5 billion in past year, mainly due to Naveen?s Jindal Steel & Power whose market capitalization soared more than threefold in 2009. Sajjan took his JSW Energy public, raising $830 million; his JSW Steel forged an alliance with Japan? s JFE Steel. Savitri won the elections in Haryana, her home state, last November.
With father controls Fidelity Investments, America?s largest mutual fund company. Firm also boasts large brokerage business, insurance outfit. Father Ned joined his father?s company as analyst 1957, president 15 years later. Abby ran her first diversified fund 1993. Ned trimmed ownership 1995, Abby inherited 24% stake; rumored to have sold some shares back to family members years later. Ownership a mystery: family owns 49% of Fidelity, but size of individual stakes unknown. Abby runs personal and workplace investing division; believed by some to be father?s chosen successor.
Inherited stake in automaker BMW from late father, Herbert Quandt, who rescued it from bankruptcy decades ago. A trained economist with an MBA also inherited a 50% stake in chemical manufacturer Altana; sits on board. Since February controls over 95% of Altana; has made squeeze out request for remaining shares and plans to delist the firm. Also holds 22% of wind power outfit Nordex AG; 22% of carbon and graphite producer SGL; and 29% of Geohumus, a company that is developing a water storing granulate to be used in agriculture. Has won a civil case against Helg Sgarbi, the ex-lover who tried to blackmail her for millions in a salacious scandal last year. Sgarbi is in jail.
Iris Fontbona & family
$ 11 billion
Second wife, and now widow, of billionaire Andronico Luksic, who died of cancer in 2005. Family controls Antofagasta, one of the world?s largest copper miners. Company?s shares have jumped 80% in a year. Also holds shares in Quinenco, a consumer packaging and beverage maker, and Plava Laguna, a chain of Croatian beach resorts. Son Jean Paul serves as chairman of Antofagasta.
$ 11 billion
Cash-strapped consumers still have appetite for the Mars family?s nearly recession-proof products: chocolate (Snickers, M&Ms), pet food (Pedigree). Created world?s largest confectionery company by acquiring gum maker Wrigley last year for $23 billion. Combined sales now exceed $30 billion; much of the deal paid for with debt. Grandfather Frank Mars began making chocolates in 1911 in his kitchen in Tacoma, Wash. Father, Forrest Sr., invented M&Ms, then introduced malt-flavored nougat, the foundation of famous candy bar line that includes Milky Way, Snickers, 3 Musketeers. Third generation inherited company when dad died in 1999.
Anne Cox Chambers
Cable and media. U.S.
Daughter of Cox Enterprises founder James M. Cox (d. 1957), who finished high school at 17 and worked as a school teacher and newspaper reporter before shelling out $26,000 for the Dayton Evening News in 1898. James Sr. later moved into politics. Today Cox Enterprises includes Cox Communications cable company, 17 daily newspapers, 15 TV stations, 86 radio stations, Manheim auctions (cars), AutoTrader.com. Revenues of $15 billion; ad sales at media operations dwindling. Fortune up $1 billion in past year.