South Korean SK Inc. Shares Surge 16% After Chairman Ordered to Pay $1 Billion in Divorce Settlement

South Korean SK Inc. Shares Surge 16% After Chairman Ordered to Pay $1 Billion in Divorce Settlement

Key Points:

  • Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Inc., was ordered to pay $1 billion (1.38 trillion won) to his estranged wife, Roh Soh-yeong, in a divorce settlement.
  • SK Inc. shares jumped by 16%, closing over 9% higher, likely because the settlement was lower than the initially sought amount.
  • Roh’s legal team argued that Chey had received financial support from Roh’s father, former President Roh Tae-woo, in the 1990s, which Chey’s team denied.
  • The settlement removes a major uncertainty, allowing SK Inc. to focus on its business operations.

Shares of SK Inc., one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates, soared by as much as 16% on Thursday following a court ruling that ordered the company’s chairman, Chey Tae-won, to pay 1.38 trillion Korean won (approximately $1 billion) to his estranged wife, Roh Soh-yeong, as part of their divorce settlement.

The Seoul court’s decision marks a significant moment in the high-profile divorce case, which began in 2015 when Chey publicly admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock. He subsequently filed for divorce from Roh in 2017. Initially, Roh sought around 2 trillion won, including some of Chey’s shares in SK Inc., as part of the settlement. The final court-ordered amount was lower than Roh’s original demand. Investors likely viewed the reduced settlement figure as a relief, easing concerns about the financial impact on the conglomerate.

SK Inc., the holding company for major subsidiaries such as SK Hynix, a leading global memory chip manufacturer, and SK Telecom, a prominent mobile network operator, saw its shares eventually close more than 9% higher in Seoul on Thursday. Despite the court’s ruling, SK Inc. did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The divorce case has attracted significant media attention, partly due to the involvement of Roh’s late father, former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo. During the protracted legal proceedings, Roh’s legal team argued that Chey had received financial support from Roh Tae-woo in the 1990s, which allegedly helped expand SK Inc. Chey’s legal representatives refuted these claims, stating that no such financial assistance was provided.

The settlement concludes a lengthy and contentious legal battle with personal and financial implications for both parties. For SK Inc., resolving this case removes a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the company. The significant jump in share price reflects investor optimism that the company can move forward without the distraction and potential financial burden of an ongoing legal dispute.

SK Inc.’s prominence in the technology sector, particularly through its subsidiary SK Hynix, positions it as a critical player in the global semiconductor market. The company’s ability to maintain stability and focus on its core business operations, even amidst personal legal challenges its leadership faces, underscores its resilience and strategic importance in the industry.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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