20 May 2014

World Most Expensive divorce: Dmitry Rybolovlev to pay out $4.5bn to ex-wife

A Russian oligarch ordered to pay out a world-record £2.7billion to his ex-wife views the settlement as a 'hammer blow' and may appeal, it emerged today.

Judges in Switzerland said Dmitry Rybolovlev, 47, has to give Elena Rybolovleva, who was with him for 24 years, a very precise 4,020,555,987 Swiss francs and 20 centimes.
In current sterling rates, this amounts to £2,681,297,538 and 78 pence – an estimate of half the Russian oligarch’s entire fortune.
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Elena Rybolovleva and Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Marc Bonnant, Ms Rybolovleva's clearly delighted lawyer, said the figure represented an 'amicable settlement' after six years of tough negotiations.

But Mr Bonnant also admitted that it was 'the most expensive divorce in history' and that Mr Rybolovlev viewed the astronomical sum as a 'hammer blow'.
Mr Bonnant said the billionaire had 'put up strong resistance' and tried to conceal the full extent of his assets via offshore ventures.

The Geneva court's decision can now be appealed by Mr Rybolovlev, who met his wife more than 30 years ago when they were students in the Ural mountains.
It follow a six-year legal saga in which Mr Rybolovlev, who made his billions through a successful fertiliser business, bitterly contested Ms Rybolovleva’s claims to two of the most expensive properties in the USA and a £100million Greek island.
Now Mr Rybolovlev must sign a cheque for the incredible sum in the Swiss city of Geneva, where Mrs Rybolovleva lives in a lakeside mansion.
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Russian Billionaire and Fertilizer King Dmitri Rybolovlev.

The settlement is far higher than the £1.5 billion paid by art heir Alec Wildenstein to his ex wife, Jocelyne, which until now had been the largest confirmed public divorce settlement in the world.
Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul, was told to give his former wife, Anna, £1billion in 1999. He went on to marry his third wife Wendi Deng, from whom he is now divorced.
Mr Rybolovlev, who was found by the court to be worth £5.2 billion - although the figure is believed to be a conservative estimate of his wealth - and his ex-wife have been at war since 2008 over the terms of their divorce. 
Ms Rybolovleva won custody of the couple's 13-year-old daughter Anna, along with Mr Rybolovlev's half of their former home in Cologny, an up-market neighbourhood of Geneva.
In 2012, Mrs Rybolovleva claimed a £50 million plus ownership of the New York penthouse which her ex-husband had bought for Anna. 
The purchase of the penthouse from the former head of the Citigroup bank, Sandford I.Weill and his wife Joan, was at the time the most expensive home ever bought in New York City.

In court papers filed in Manhattan, Ms Rybolovleva had said Mr Rybolovlev had been using marital property to buy a multitude of other assets through a variety of trusts and limited liability companies, hoping to put those assets beyond her reach.

Mrs Rybolovleva said these assets include his majority ownership of French soccer club AS Monaco, a $295 million stake in the Bank of Cyprus, and a $95million Palm Beach, Florida, home purchased from another tycoon, Donald Trump.

Mr Rybolovlev is one of the small group of Russians who became fabulously wealthy during the post-Soviet privatization of the economy and became known as oligarchs. He is the former owner of fertilizer business Uralkali.
Mr Rybolovlev also owns a £12million Hawaii mansion he bought from the Hollywood star, Will Smith, and La Belle Epoque penthouse in Monaco, where he lives, for which he paid £178 million. 
He bought the Greek island of Skorpios from the Onassis dynasty last year for a reported £100 million, again for his daughter, a socialite show jumper.

The island was made famous as the location of Aristotle Onassis's wedding to the former US First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, in 1968. 
Mr Rybolovlev's wealth came from the sale of his stake in Uralkali, a Russian fertiliser business, for $6.5billion in 2010. 
He went on to buy AS Monaco in December 2011, attempting to make the club as successful as Qatari-owned Paris Saint Germain. 
Mr Rybolovlev, who lives in Monaco, also has an estate in the southern French resort of Saint Tropez and his assets include an art collection with paintings by Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Monet.
Since splitting from her husband, Mrs Rybolovleva has been followed almost round the clock by private detectives.
In February, she was questioned by police in Cyprus on suspicion of stealing a diamond ring reportedly worth £15 million, borrowed from her daughter but not returned, and which belonged to a trust. 
She was released without charge.

She was by Mr Rybolovlev's side as he rose from a doctor-turned-entrepreneur into a stockbroker and banker, before becoming chairman and majority shareholder of Uralkali.
They stayed together during his 11 months in jail - when he was accused of murdering a competitor before the charges were dropped - and when threats on his life led him to wear a bullet-proof vest and move his family to Switzerland. 
He was said to be stunned when he found out about the divorce petition on New Year's Eve 2008 from his bankers, after his accounts were frozen. 
In that petition, the then Mrs Rybolovleva said she could no longer take his infidelities, describing parties on yachts where, she said, he had shared some 'young conquests with his friends, and other oligarchs'. (Daily Mail)
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(Files Photo-AFP) This file picture dated March 1, 2014  shows Monaco Football club 's Russian President Dmitri Rybolovlev (L) attending the French L1 football match between Saint-Etienne (ASSE) and Monaco (ASMFC) at the Geoffroy Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne next to an unidentified woman.

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