* Bettencourt says grp not opposed to L'Oreal independence
* Adds she does not want to leave L'Oreal, change structure
PARIS, April 20 Billionaire Liliane Bettencourt,
the largest shareholder in L'Oreal (OREP.PA), told French daily
Le Figaro that Switzerland's Nestle NESN.VX was not hostile to
the cosmetics group's interests or its independence.
Nestle, which holds 30 percent of L'Oreal, has said it will
decide on the future of its stake in the cosmetics group in 2014
when a 10-year standstill agreement draws to an end.
"I don't think Nestle has a stance that is opposed to the
interests or independence of L'Oreal," Bettencourt told Le
The family of Bettencourt, France's richest woman, owns
about 31 percent of L'Oreal. There has been recurring
speculation Bettencourt might eventually sell to Nestle, which
she downplayed in the interview. [ID:nLDE67P1XB]
"I want to underline the independence of L'Oreal," she said.
"L'Oreal needs a strong structure. I have always been opposed to
(Reporting by Lionel Laurent; Editing by Will Waterman)