US businessman stunned after being hit with $110m divorce pay out
A highly successful businessman from the United States is to pay the wife he is divorcing £72.3 million – or $110m.
The figure was announced by a High Court Family Division judge in the UK today after what he described as a "very bruising and painful" two-week hearing in the Family Division of London's High Court.
Randy Work, a former key executive in Texas-based private equity company Lone Star, argued in court that wife Mandy Gray, 45, was only entitled to £5m after she failed to keep to the terms of a post-nuptial agreement.
The stance of Mr Work led a judge to tell the 47-year-old husband: "I am not sure you and I are on the same planet."
Mr Justice Holman, sitting in London, also rejected Mr Work's suggestion that in any event he was entitled to more than his wife because of his "special contribution" to the marriage and making the couple rich through his exceptional business skills.
The judge told him: "It would, in my view, be unsatisfactory and gender discriminatory now to make an unequal award."
In the witness box, Mr Work described how he had gone to Japan and made billions of dollars for Lone Star - and millions for himself - buying up real estate, including troubled golf courses, after the Japanese economy became stuck in a sharp downturn.
He told the judge that Ms Gray had been "a good wife" over 20 years and "a good mother" and would have been entitled to at least £70 million, the "total sum payable" under the post-nup agreement they signed in October 2000.
But he argued that she was not entitled to any of his money, or any of his property, after she came to court to seek a better settlement.
He argued she was only entitled to £5m deemed to be her own separate property, an amount expected to fall to just over £3m when bills are paid.
But Mr Justice Holman, sitting in London, disagreed and told him: "Having offered to pay her nothing you now have to pay her tens of millions of dollars."
After further argument in court over the figures, the judge said the total the amount the wife was to receive in two lump sums would be £72.3m, which equates to $109,251,416.