December 07, 2022 13:29
A divorce court on Tuesday ordered SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won to give his ex-wife Roh Soh-yeong W66.5 billion plus W100 million in alimony (US$1=W1,319).
Roh had wanted 42.29 percent of Chey's stake in SK Holdings, the parent company of the conglomerate, valued at W1.37 trillion and W300 million in alimony.
Chey is the son of SK founder Chey Jong-hyun and Roh is the daughter of former President Roh Tae-woo. The two married in September 1988, when Roh senior became president, and have three children.
They separated in 2011. In 2015, Chey revealed that he had a child out of wedlock and was living happily with the mother. He eventually filed for divorce in 2017 when he and Roh failed to agree on the terms of separation.
The divorce drew nationwide attention, partly because of the effect it could have on SK Group's ownership structure. If Roh was given the shares she demanded, she would in effect have become the second-largest shareholder of the holding company with a 7.7 percent stake.
Chey told the court the SK Holdings shares should be not be considered part of the assets the couple amassed during their marriage since he inherited them from his father, and are therefore not subject to the usual division of assets in a divorce.
Roh's lawyers argued the couple had been married for so long that such distinctions no longer apply.
The court sided with Chey, saying Roh did not contribute to "amassing, maintaining or increasing" the value of the SK stake. But it recognized her rights to other assets like SK affiliates stocks, real estate and savings. It awarded her 40 percent or W85.6 billion of the W214 billion of the assets subject to being split up.
Roh already owns around W19.2 billion, and the court ordered Chey to give her the rest in cash.
Neither Chey nor Roh made any comments after the ruling, but legal sources said Roh could appeal.
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