Chey Tae-won and Roh So-young (Credit: Korean News)
Chey Tae-won and Roh So-young (Credit: Korean News)

South Korean billionaire and the chairman of SK Group conglomerate, Chey Tae-won, has been ordered to pay $1bn in cash to his ex-wife almost a decade after their marriage ended.

It is the largest ever divorce settlement in the history of the Asian country.

Mr Chey’s marriage to Roh So-young ended nearly 10 years ago after it came to light that the business tycoon had fathered another child outside of the marriage with his lover, bringing an end to their 35-year relationship.

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On Thursday, a Seoul High Court sided with Ms Roh and ordered Mr Chey to pay $1bn to his ex-wife, citing that the woman is entitled to a portion of his company shares in what is now the largest-ever divorce settlement in South Korea.


“It was reasonable to rule that, as his wife, Roh played a role in increasing the value of SK Group and Chey’s business activity,” the court stated while ruling that the shares should be considered joint property.

The latest figure is significantly higher than $48 million Mr Chey was ordered to pay by a lower court in 2022 after the family court rejected Ms Roh’s request to be given a portion of her ex-husband’s shares, the BBC reported.

Meanwhile, Mr Chey’s lawyer has said the court’s ruling will be appealed, stating that the court had taken “Roh’s one-sided claim as factual.”

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