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Dealmaker's Children Take Speedy Control of $5.7 Billion Fortune

Albert Frere attends a photocall during The Ballet National de Paris Opening Season Gala at Opera Garnier on September 24, 2015 in Paris, France. Photographer: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

(bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- Albert Frere spent more than half a century crossing the globe to strike deals before he died this week, leaving a legacy that knitted together dynastic fortunes and transformed Europe’s corporate landscape.

It took just days for his $5.7 billion estate to be transferred to his children.

Frere’s 41 year-old daughter Segolene Gallienne and her older brother, Gerald Frere, 67, now control the family’s Groupe Frere-Bourgeois, which has net assets of 5.5 billion euros ($6 billion). The ownership change was reported in a statement by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA, whose assets include stakes in Adidas AG and Pernod Ricard SA. The Frere family hold an indirect stake in GBL.

If the Frere empire is split equally, the duo would each inherit almost $3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Calls to Groupe Frere-Bourgeois placed outside of normal office hours weren’t immediately returned.

The pair are already part of the family business. Gallienne sits on the board of both companies, and her husband, Ian, is co-chief executive officer of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert. Frere is chairman of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert and vice chairman of Pargesa.

Gallienne joins the burgeoning ranks of female billionaires, although they remain significantly under-represented among the world’s wealthiest and comprise about 10 percent of Bloomberg’s ranking of the top 500 fortunes. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the largest shareholder of cosmetics company L’Oreal SA, is the world’s richest woman with a net worth of $47 billion.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tom Metcalf in New York at tmetcalf7@bloomberg.net;Ben Stupples in London at bstupples@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at ppaulden@bloomberg.net, Peter Eichenbaum

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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