Although $1 billion might seem like a lot of money to hand over in a divorce, it still pales in comparison to some of the most lucrative (or expensive, depending on your point of view) divorces in American history. For example, Melinda Gates receives 76 times that amount after splitting from Bill Gates. Nevertheless, the South Korean businessman tasked with providing his ex-wife with a 10-figure settlement probably is not thrilled about the prospect. The real story here is not the amount but rather the interesting effect of the settlement on the businessman’s company. 

SK Inc. Chairman Set to Hand Over $1 Billion

One of South Korea’s most talked-about divorces has finally ended, with Chey Tae-won and Roh Soh-yeong agreeing on a $1 billion settlement. This story began back in 2015 when it became clear that Chey had fathered a child with another woman during the marriage. Two years later, he filed for divorce. 

These two individuals represent some of South Korea’s most prominent individuals. Some might even argue that they are essentially “royalty.” The wife is the daughter of a former South Korean President, while the husband is the chairman of SK Inc. This company holds SK Hynix, a major player in the memory chip industry. 

Why Did the Share Price of SK Inc. Surge After This Report?

The real question is why the share price of SK Inc. surged after news of this $1-billion divorce settlement. According to CNBC, the value of the tech company rose by over 16% – and the implication is that this surge was specifically caused by the divorce settlement announcement. 

The answer is simple: Even though $1 billion might seem like a high amount, it could have been much worse for Chey. In fact, insiders were saying that the chairman was going to pay a much higher sum – perhaps as much as $2 billion. Furthermore, there were rumors that Roh was seeking some of SK’s shares as part of the divorce settlement. Therefore, the announcement of a “mere” $1 billion in cash was actually positive news for SK Inc. investors, and it propelled the company to greater heights. 

Cher Wins Rights to Royalties She Secured in a 1978 Divorce

Roh Soh-yeong was not the only high-profile woman who recently won a major divorce victory. Cher’s recent lawsuit win is similar because it involves the intersection between divorce and business. 

In 1978, Cher was given a 50% share in all publishing revenues generated by songs that she had recorded with Sonny. This was part of her divorce settlement with Sonny Bono, and it proved to be incredibly lucrative. However, the agreement was not highly controversial in and of itself. After all, one would expect a musical duo to split the proceeds of their music in a 50/50 manner. 

The real controversy began in 2016 when Bono’s daughter tried to gain 100% of the royalties after her father’s death. She attempted to use a federal copyright law called a “termination right.” Under this law, heirs can gain control of intellectual property following a musician’s death. In 2021, they stopped paying Cher further royalties – even before the outcome of the lawsuit was clear. 

However, Cher came out on top. A judge ruled in her favor, explaining that the contractual aspect of her divorce settlement supersedes copyright law and the termination right. It seems that, in this case, a divorce settlement has more weight in court than copyright law. She will now receive $400,000 in illegally withheld royalties.