Swiss billionaire businesswoman Margarita Louis-Dreyfus has given birth to twins at the age of 53.
Ms Louis-Dreyfus is majority owner and chairwoman of global trading house Louis Dreyfus Commodities, and the company confirmed the birth of twin girls on Monday.
Ms Louis-Dreyfus is the widow of French businessman Robert Louis-Dreyfus, and is ranked 171st richest person in the world by Forbes with a net worth of $7.1 billion.
‘Mother and babies are doing well,’ Louis Dreyfus Commodities said in an emailed statement on Monday morning.
Louis Dreyfus Commodities had said in January that Ms Louis-Dreyfus planned to take a short break following the birth, which had been due in early April.
Russian-born Ms Louis-Dreyfus assumed control of the trading group when her husband Robert died of leukaemia in 2009.
The change of management has led a shakeup of the 165-year-old family firm, reshuffling top management and raising the possibility of opening the group’s capital to outside investors.
She has progressively raised her majority stake in recent years and said she could continue to buy shares from minority family shareholders.
Ms Louis-Dreyfus, already mother of three sons from her marriage – Eric and twins Kyril and Maurice – is also the owner of Olympique de Marseille French Ligue 1 football club.
She is currently dating Swiss banker Philipp Hildebrand, 52, the vice chairman of US investment manager BlackRock, however she has not confirmed or not he is the father of the twin girls.
Ms Louis-Dreyfus gained Swiss nationality through her first marriage before she met Robert in 1988 on a flight to London from Zurich.
Ms Louis-Dreyfus, who was working as a circuit-board-equipment seller when they wed, became a full time wife and mother.
However, before his death, Robert set up a family trust called Akira BV to hold his majority stake in the privately held, Amsterdam-based company, naming Ms Louis-Dreyfus the family trustee.
The keen business woman has since raised her majority stake and now controls 81 per cent of Louis Dreyfus Commodities, which is one of the world’s largest traders of agricultural goods.
In 2012, Ms Louis-Dreyfus told Bloomberg that her goal is to preserve Louis Dreyfus Commodities for Robert’s heirs, which was her husband’s dying wish.
‘It was about protecting his children, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren,’ she said. ‘It’s also protecting the company. What he was telling me every day were his dreams.’
Ms Louis-Dreyfus’s late husband was cousins with American actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s billionaire father and former Louis Dreyfus CEO Gérard Louis-Dreyfus.