$4.5 Billion Divorce for Russian Couple Is Largest Settlement in History

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 08:07 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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The $4.5 billion divorce between Russian fertilizer tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev and wife Elena Rybolovleva is being called the biggest divorce settlement in history.

According to MarketWatch, the divorce has come after a protracted six-year battle, the terms of which were made public on Monday.

In total, Elena Rybolovleva was awarded 4.0 billion francs (about $4.5 billion) from a court in Switzerland as well as custody of her and Dmitry's 13-year-old daughter. He has promised to appeal the ruling.

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By Forbes' latest count, Dmitry Rybolovlev was worth $8.8 billion before the settlement. He made the majority of his money, $6.5 billion, cashing out of his position as chairman of Uralkali, Russia’s largest producer of potassium fertilizers.

Elena began divorce proceedings in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2009, and Dmitry made his move to cash out in 2010.

Dmitry's laywer, Tetiana Bersheda, said the settlement was a win for his client, as many of the couple's assets were entered into trusts for their daughters, and remain untouchable for both parties.

"The transfer of property to heirs through the trust structures, in particular to the couple’s children, is therefore immune from legal challenge and is assured," he said after the ruling.

Among those assets are Donald Trump’s Palm Beach mansion, Maison de L’Amitie; a $88 million New York apartment; and a $20 million Hawaiian island purchased from rapper and actor Will Smith. Through the trusts, one of the couple's daughter — 25-year-old Ekaterina Rybolovleva — recently bought two Greek resort islands, Scorpios and Sparti, from the Onassis family's sole surviving descendant, 28-year-old Athina Onassis Roussel.

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