L’Oreal heiress, daughter agree to end family feud

* Bettencourt wishes to see family united

* Statement says family looks to the future

PARIS, Dec 6 (BestGrowthStock) – France’s richest woman, L’Oreal
(OREP.PA: ) heiress Liliane Bettencourt, and her daughter said on
Monday in a statement that they have settled a family feud which
has sparked tax and party funding investigations.

What started out as a dispute over gifts to a family friend
mushroomed earlier this year into a series of investigations
that threatened to suck in President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“The decision that Francoise and I have taken offers me
hope. It meets my wish to see the family united,” Bettencourt
said in the joint statement with her daughter.

“We can now embrace the future together.”

Sarkozy’s former labour minister Eric Woerth left the
government last month amid allegations he was involved in
illegal financing of the ruling UMP party and influence-peddling
on behalf of Bettencourt. Woerth has denied any wrongdoing and
Bettencourt has said she had no memory of giving him money.

Under an agreement to end the dispute, Bettencourt’s
daughter Francoise Bettencourt Meyers agreed to drop charges
against celebrity photographer Francois-Marie Banier that he
swindled her mother in receiving gifts.

The charges triggered the original spat between Bettencourt
and her daughter before it snowballed into a broad political
scandal.

The affair has fallen into the background since Woerth was
ditched in a cabinet reshuffle but could come back to bite the
government as the investigations reach their conclusions.

Bettencourt Meyers had filed a criminal complaint against
Banier in 2007, accusing him of abusing her mother’s frailty
after Bettencourt showered him with gifts worth 1 billion euros.
Banier has denied wrongdoing.
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas)

L’Oreal heiress, daughter agree to end family feud