Grindr billionaire faces divorce losses
It seems as if not a week goes by without news of another celebrity relationship fail, which makes us all reflect on the odds of any marriage going the distance. And although we often look enviously at the lifestyles of the rich and famous, there aren’t many who would want to swap places during their very public divorces.
So in an ironic reversal of fortune, especially given his recent acquisition of a controlling stake in gay dating app Grindr, Chinese billionaire Zhou Yahui is looking at a hefty transfer of wealth in one of China’s biggest divorce settlements to date.
As a married couple, Mr Zhou and Ms Li shared wealth of $3.5 billion. Following the divorce, Mr Zhou has been ordered by a Bejing court to give his wife Li Qiang 278 million shares in online gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech, which are worth around $1.1bn.
Divorce on the rise
The divorce rate in China has been steadily rising, climbing from 1.7% of the population in 2008 to 2.8% in 2015. Mr Zhou’s payout may seem like a handsome sum but is dwarfed by the amount settled by Wu Yajun on her husband in 2012. The $2 billion payment by the chairwoman of Hong-Kong-based Longfor Properties saw Ms Wu relinquish her title as China’s richest woman.
Similarly, Wang Wei, founder of Chinese online video platform Tudou, had to postpone his company’s bid for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq stock exchange after his ex-wife had the shares frozen. Mr Wang subsequently made a $7 million settlement and Tudou’s IPO took a hit.
Down but not out
Kunlen Tech was started by Mr Zhou when he was a graduate student at China’s Tsinghua University. The company bought a $155 million stake in Grindr earlier this year, in order to bring traffic to its gaming properties.
Following the divorce, Ms Li will own a 26.4% stake, while chairman Mr Zhou, will retain the largest shareholding at 34.5%.
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