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Swiss billionaire Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, 53, pregnant with twins

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus is the Russian born widow of Robert Louis-Dreyfus who died of Leukemia in 2009

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus  Philipp Hildebrand

 

Louis Dreyfus Commodities has said that its 53-year-old Swiss billionaire chair is pregnant with twin girls.

The conglomerate said in a statement Monday that Margarita Louis-Dreyfus is due in early April and will only take a “brief break” from working before returning full-time later that month.

Louis-Dreyfus’ current partner is 52-year-old businessman Philipp Hildebrand.

 

About Margarita Louis-Dreyfus

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus is the Russian born widow of Robert Louis-Dreyfus who died of Leukemia in 2009 after a long struggle with the disease. She is today, after a protracted internal battle after the death of her husband, also the undisputed leader of the Louis-Dreyfus commodities empire. She also controls two football clubs L’Olympique de Marseille and Standard de Liège in which her husband had been involved.

On his death Robert Louis-Dreyfus had left 61% of his group to his three children, to become available to them at the age of 25 and designated his wife as trustee in the mean-time. He also left her as much as Euros 300 million in her own right. The former President of Louis-Dreyfus Group at the time, Jacques Veyrat, did not take too kindly to the new arrangements it seems and, after a bitter battle, was out-manoeuvred by Margarita Louis-Dreyfus and left the company in 2011.

Her husband Robert was a French businessman, the grandson of Leopold, who lived in Switzerland and who also had major success as Chief Executive Officer of both Adidas-Salomon and of Saatchi & Saatchi. Robert’s cousin Julia became one of the stars of Seinfeld.

 

About Louis Dreyfus Group

Louis Dreyfus Commodities, an unlisted private company controlled by the Louis-Dreyfus family, is a leading trader of many key agricultural commodities such as cotton, wheat, sugar, rice and orange juice.

As consolidation grows among commodity trading firms internationally, the traditionally secretive company has sold non-core assets, issued its first bonds and listed shares in a Brazilian unit to help finance increased investments.

But it has not taken the step of listing its own shares or of making mega-acquisitions similar to its global rivals such as Glencore and Archer Daniels Midland Co – most likely to the benefit of the strength of its (non-disclosed) balance sheet.

The company posted a record profit last year on the back of strong global food demand and high crop prices following a severe U.S. drought.

Imposing entrance to the Company – source Louis Dreyfus website

The company first began in 1851 when Léopold Louis-Dreyfus, an 18-year-old son of a farmer from Sierentz in Alsace, made his first sale of grain. He purchased wheat from local farmers in Alsace and transported it to Basel in Switzerland, 8 miles away. Seven years later he left Basel for Berne and extended the scope of his activities, buying grain products in Hungary and Romania.

By 2011 Net sales were close to US$60 billion and fixed assets were more than US$5.5 billion withan ambitious continuing expansion plan in place. Louis Dreyfus workers at peak season exceeded 34, 000 and the company had offices in more than 55 countries.

It is of semantic interest only, perhaps, but is still curious that the company name drops the hyphen of both the founder’s and present-day family name…

 

READ MORE: Margarita Louis-Dreyfus

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus / Getty

(Reuters) Members of the founding family of Louis Dreyfus Commodities have asked the majority shareholder of the commodities trader to buy out most of their stake, Britain’s Financial Times newspaper reported More…

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus / Getty

Brazil’s sugar producers will struggle to expand output and take advantage of the market’s first supply shortfall in five years, Louis Dreyfus Commodities Holdings’s sugar unit says. Some companies may have More…

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus / Getty

On Friday Louis Dreyfus Commodities, one of the principal operating segments of the giant, and privately held, Louis-Dreyfus Holding BV, announced another change in its top management, which has been something More…

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus / Getty

Margarita, widow of Robert Louis-Dreyfus continues her step by step plan honoring her husband’s death bed wish to gain controlling interest in  one of the World’s top four global food trading groups,   having  More…

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus / Getty

In Rotterdam , June 17th, 2013, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, a unit of the Louis Dreyfus Group which is a private, family-controlled, company based in the Netherlands trading in agricultural commodities More…

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