Ex-wife of Russian oligarch demands $15billion in world’s largest final divorce settlement
Natalia Potanina has filed a lawsuit demanding $15bn from ex Vladimir
Potanina, 55, is seeking half of 56-year-old Vladimir Potanin’s wealth, including dividends from a lucrative Russian firm
Married 23 years, the couple divorced in 2014 when Ms Potanina was awarded $4.8million along with three plots of land
She now wants all assets, including shares in lucrative mining firms, must be split
Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s fourth richest man, claims he is down to his last millions, but his ex says the rest of the money is being hidden offshore
The settlement would be three times larger than the current record
Natalia Potanina has filed papers in a Moscow court claiming $15billion in assets from ex husband Vladimir Potanin, who she divorced three years ago
Natalia Potanina, 55, is seeking half of 56-year-old Vladimir Potanin’s wealth, including dividends from a lucrative Russian firm, Forbes Russia reports.
If Ms Potanina’s claim is successful, the settlement will be three times larger than the current record, estimated to be $4billion paid by Alec Wildenstein in his 1999 divorce from wife Jocelyn.
The Presnensky District Court of Moscow will conduct pre-trial preparations for the claim on June 14.
Potanina reportedly asked the court to acknowledge shares of three foreign companies as the property acquired during her marriage, worth an estimated 850 billion rubles.
Earlier it was reported that the court is also processing another lawsuit filed by Potanina seeking to recover about $3.8 billion financial compensation for shares of KM Invest company. Public hearings in this particular case is set for May 25.
Natalia Potanin with her mother and the three children from her marriage
In late April 2015, Natalia Potanina filed a lawsuit seeking ownership of 50 percent of her ex-husband’s stake in Norilsk Nickel and half of Interros International, which holds their other assets. In the fall of 2015, the Presnensky District Court of Moscow dismissed the lawsuit. A year later, Potanina appealed the ruling but the Moscow District Court upheld the earlier ruling in January of 2016.
Under the Russian Family Code, the property acquired during a marriage is considered community property and therefore should be divided into equal parts in a divorce.
The Vladimir Potanin sought and was granted a divorce from his wife in February 2014.
In July 2015, the Presnensky court issued a ruling in a case on dividing the assets of the former spouses. According to a source familiar with the lawsuit, the court ruled that Vladimir Potanin keep a 406.9 square meter luxury apartment in Central Moscow, as well as, a church in the Moscow Region.
Natalya Potanina received $4.8million in compensation for her share in the apartment as well as three plots of land in the Moscow Region.
Natalia Potanina and Vladimir Potani befrore the break up
Among the assets Ms Potanina is claiming are profits from Norilsk Nickel, which Mr Potanin owns 30 per cent of, and Interros International, his investment company.
Courts have twice rejected Ms Potanina’s attempts to lay her hands on the shares, saying that while Mr Potanin does benefit from them, he does not own them directly.
But in new papers filed at the Presnensky District Court of Moscow she claims she should be entitled to half of the dividends from the shares, even if she cannot have the shares themselves, Russian legal agency RAPSI reports.
Ms Potanina already has another lawsuit filed claiming another $3.8billion in compensation for shares in the KM Invest company.
The couple were granted a divorce in 2014 after 23 years of marriage. The couple have three children together.
She claims he ‘dumped, betrayed and humiliated’ her after starting a relationship with an employee 15 years his junior, with whom he has a love child.
Ms Potanina has already been awarded $4.8million from the sale of a luxury apartment in central Moscow, along with three plots of land in the region.
But she claims her former husband has secreted the rest of his wealth in a series of offshore companies to stop her from accessing it.
At the divorce Natalia claimed she was ‘humiliated’ her by her ex [photo], when he had an affair and a love child with a woman 15 years younger
Mr Potanin has previously told Moscow courts that he is no longer a billionaire, is down to his last millions and living on a salary of $480,000 a month.
Forbes estimates that Mr Potanin is worth $13.4billion, which would make him Russia’s fourth richest man.
Last year Ms Potanina claimed her ex had created a ‘fictional’ debt of $1million attached to one of the plots of land she was given, which is preventing her from returning to Russia.
Controversial laws prevent anyone who has an unsettled debt in Russia from leaving until it has been paid. Ms Potanina says if she returns to her home country to see her children or visit her ailing mother, she will be prevented from leaving again.