Sunday, July 4, 2010
Tough Times for the Russian Glitterrati - Where Did I Leave That Extra Billion?
$7 billion divorce feud - It's a tough call. If they split it, each would be left with a paltry $3.5 billion
Rybolovlevs in Happier Times
July 4, 2010
A RUSSIAN oligarch is facing the biggest divorce payment in history after his wife demanded a £3.8 billion ($A6.8 billion) settlement. Dmitry Rybolovlev, 43, a mining magnate ranked as Russia's 10th richest man, is locked in a bitter divorce case with Elena, his spouse of 23 years and the mother of his two daughters.
At stake are a £72 million motor yacht moored off the Italian coast and a string of lavish properties from London to Singapore, including a £62 million mansion in Florida, bought from Donald Trump.
Mr Rybolovlev's assets also include paintings by Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Monet.
Rybolovlev, who rose from peasant beginnings, married an impoverished peasant shopkeeper from Kiev, who contributed to the family fortune by starting a company that made frozen chicken Kiev for Siberian peasants who did not own indoor freezers. It was an instant success. Her company gained market share every year until the great Siberian thaw of 1993, when the frozen food sector in Siberia all but collapsed. By then, Ms. Rybolovlev had sold the company to Vasilli Molotov, a Russian magnate whose father invented the famous Molotov cocktail, used in close combat when you have no arms. (Weapons, not arms as in legs,)
Mrs. Rybolovleva, also 43, has accused her husband of serial (cereal?) infidelity. The case, being heard in a Swiss court, has exposed the publicity-shy Mr Rybolovlev's high-rolling lifestyle.