• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Swiss commodities billionaire to have twins
Louis-Dreyfus's partner is Philipp Hildebrand, the former head of Switzerland's central bank. Photo: AFP

Swiss commodities billionaire to have twins

AFP/The Local · 4 Jan 2016, 14:44

Published: 04 Jan 2016 14:44 GMT+01:00

The 53-year-old widow of famous French businessman Robert Louis-Dreyfus, is pregnant with twin girls, due in early April 2016," Louis Dreyfus Commodities said in a statement.

"She intends to continue to exercise her duties as (non-executive) chairperson until the birth, take a brief break and return to work full time in late April," it added.

Louis-Dreyfus was born in Russia, but acquired Swiss nationality through a first marriage, before meeting Robert Louis-Dreyfus in 1988.

The couple married in 1992 and had three sons, including a pair of twins before Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who headed Adidas among other companies before taking over the family business, died in 2009 of leukaemia.

His widow took over the company and the football team he had acquired and is now considered one of the richest women in the world, with an amassed fortune of $7.1 billion, according to Forbes.

Louis-Dreyfus's current partner is Philipp Hildebrand, 52, the former head of Switzerland's central bank and current vice president of US investment management firm BlackRock.

He served as head of Switzerland's central bank for a few year, but was forced out in early 2012 amid controversy over currency trades made by his ex-wife.

Hildebrand landed on his feet however, at BlackRock, the world's largest investment manager, with $4.5 trillion ($4.2 trillion) under its management.

 'The Tsarina'

Louis-Dreyfus meanwhile has been dubbed "the Tsarina" by Swiss media due to her Russian origins, and could easily be the heroine in an Emile Zola novel.
   
Born in the Soviet Union in 1962 with the last name Bogdanova, she lost both of her parents at the age of seven and was raised by her grandfather.
   
She arrived in Switzerland in the 1980s where her first marriage quickly broke down.
   
She remained in Switzerland after her divorce and met Louis-Dreyfus, who was 16 years her senior.
   
He was from a wealthy family and expanded his wealth through smart investments in telecommunications and sport, serving as chief executive of Adidas, among other companies, before taking over the family business.
   
The conglomerate is, among other things, involved in metal, oil, energy and commodities, as well as international shipping, telecommunications and real estate development.
 
It is especially big in agricultural commodities trading, accounting for nine percent of all trades in the sector globally.
   
Before his death, Louis-Dreyfus had asked his confidant Jacques Veyrat to take the helm of the family business.
   
But his widow, who took over as chairwoman, opposed the group's strategy and entered a two-year tug-of-war with Veyrat, who ended up leaving.
   
Margarita Louis-Dreyfus remains the non-executive chairman of the company, and also owns Olympique de Marseille, the football team that her husband bought in 1997.
   
The Sonntagsblick weekly reported at the weekend that only 40 women over the age of 50 gave birth in Switzerland last year, including nine who were 53, Louis-Dreyfus's age.

Story continues below…

 

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Drone shocks nudists at Swiss waterpark
Photo: Marcel Chassot/Bernaqua

Clients at a Bern waterpark were horrified to spot a drone hovering over a nudist area.

Kidnapping of Swiss boy raises online gaming fears
File photo: Rachel Johnson

A 12-year-old Swiss boy was allegedly abused by a German man he first met online.

Study: Swiss among world’s most socially progressive
Photo: Janek Skarzynkski/AFP

Switzerland is one of the world’s most socially progressive countries, according to a new report.

Escaped Swiss cow loses holiday rights
Ilana the cow spent ten days on the loose before being recaptured. Photo: Graubünden police

There will be no summer holiday for Ilana the Highland cow.

Swiss giant Nestlé bucks history with new top dog
Schneider, 50, is a German-US national. Photo: Daniel Roland/AFP

The appointment of new CEO Ulf Mark Schneider marks a new, nutrition-focused era for Nestlé.

Signs lay down law and order for Basel prostitutes
Photo: Justice and Security Department, Basel

New signs in Basel’s red light district will show streetwalkers where they may legally tout for business.

Muslim school kids must swim to be Swiss
Swimming lessons are compulsory in Basel's education system. Photo: Daniel Orth

Two Muslim teenage girls were denied a Swiss passport because they refused to participate in school swimming lessons on religious grounds.

Opinion
Brexit voters ‘misinformed’ on Swiss relations with EU
The Swiss president meets with European leaders on the first Gotthard train. Photo: Ruben Sprich/AFP

Leave campaigners calling for Britain to be like Switzerland did not truly understand Switzerland’s relationship with the EU, one commentator tells The Local.

France demands Swiss bank UBS face fraud trial
File photo: Martin Abegglen

The bank is accused of orchestrating a vast system of tax fraud in France.

Wimbledon
Federer wins uninspired Wimbledon opener
File photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Roger Federer was well short of his best as he advanced to the second round.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
File photo: Kochtopf
National
Anger as Swiss council plans non-pork school lunches
File photo: Jen/Flickr
Society
Geneva to get 'café fellatio' by end of year
Features
How Switzerland's scenery inspired some of the world's greatest authors
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
A guaranteed basic income: why did the Swiss say no?
Photo: Andreas Gerth/Swiss-Image.ch
Features
Switzerland’s breathtaking Unesco World Heritage sites
Photo: Nestle
Culture
Nestlé celebrates 150 years with museum openings
Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss-image.ch
National
Report: Swiss are officially ‘good’ for the planet
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
World agog at bizarre Gotthard Base Tunnel opening
Photo: Coop
Swiss supermarkets look to scrap free plastic bags
Photo: IMD
Business & Money
Report: Swiss economy more competitive than US
Photo: Aargau police
National
Murderer escapes from Swiss psych hospital
Photo: Grande-Dixence SA/essencedesign.com
Features
8 fantastic reasons to visit French-speaking Switzerland
Photo: Terroir Fribourg
Lifestyle
Swiss village to make world’s biggest meringue
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Features
10 unspoken rules for fitting in with the Swiss
Photo: Alp Transit Gotthard
National
Gotthard base tunnel: what you need to know
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Sport
Swiss cantons team up to vie for winter Olympic games
Photo: Broad Bean Media
National
Basel: Muslim schoolboys must shake hands or face fine
Photo: Emmanual Dunand/AFP
Sport
Brother of Belgian bomber wins gold in Switzerland
Photo: Gstaad Tourism
National
Snow puts end to hottest weekend of year so far
File photo: Abhishek Jacob
Lifestyle
Swiss court vetoes wedding of couple with 50-year age gap
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Culture
Dog day afternoon: Swiss saint meets Pope in Rome
4,656
jobs available