HK tycoon's ex-wife wins $150 million in divorce
A Hong Kong heir to a property fortune has been ordered to pay his ex-wife more than US$150 million in one of the city's biggest divorce settlements, reports said on Friday.world Updated: Dec 02, 2011 11:43 IST
A Hong Kong heir to a property fortune has been ordered to pay his ex-wife more than US$150 million in one of the city's biggest divorce settlements, reports said on Friday.
High court Justice John Saunders ruled that billionaire tycoon Samathur Li must pay Florence Tsang, his wife of eight years, HK$1.22 billion (US$157 million), media reports said.
Saunders said the couple lived a "lifestyle which was best described as just below that of a US-dollar billionaire", and ruled that Tsang, a 38-year-old solicitor, should be kept in the comfort to which she had become accustomed.
The settlement represented 20% of the couple's assets, less than the 55% demanded by Tsang, according to the Hong Kong Standard daily, which said the ruling sealed "Hong Kong's reputation as Asia's divorce capital".
Tsang reacted with a "cheer and a broad smile" when she read the decision, the South China Morning Post reported.
"I'm delighted that the proceeding has now concluded," she was quoted as saying at the court.
The ruling included a Hong Kong property worth HK$250 million, a London property valued at HK$30.53 million, HK$3.5 million for cars, HK$5 million for a yacht and HK$4.6 million for club memberships in Hong Kong and Britain.
Saunders also alleged that Li and his billionaire father, Samuel Tak Lee, had forged documents in a bid to protect Li's wealth from his ex-wife by transferring it to the father's name.
He ordered prosecutors to investigate the documents. He also ordered Li to pay Tsang's legal costs.
A fund amounting to HK$26 million will be established for the couple's three-year-old daughter, the Standard reported.
During the hearings, the court heard that Li -- whose father's Prudential Enterprise owns property around the world -- lived a lavish lifestyle and spent extravagantly on cars, yachts, luxury apartments and home entertainment.
The marriage broke down after Li demanded his wife have an abortion, which she refused. He subsequently had an affair and saw his daughter only twice after she was born, according to media reports of the proceedings.