SK Group chairman's wife files for divorce - court records

SEOUL (Reuters) - The wife of the chairman of conglomerate SK Group filed for divorce on Wednesday, court records showed, and has demanded more than $1 billion worth of shares in the company as part of her settlement, media reports said.

FILE PHOTO: SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won arrives to attend a hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

Roh Soh-yeong, SK Group chair Chey Tae-won’s wife, wants SK Holdings shares worth 1.4 trillion won ($1.19 billion) that are held by Chey, local media, including Yonhap News Agency, said, citing unnamed sources.

Chey, 59, is the second-generation head of South Korea’s third biggest conglomerate. The company’s businesses include memory chip maker SK Hynix and SK Innovation that has the country’s top oil refiner and makes electric vehicle batteries.

He is the biggest shareholder of SK Holdings with 18.4%.

If Chey were to transfer the shares reportedly claimed by his wife, he would still be the biggest shareholder in the holding company.

Their marriage in 1988 attracted a lot of attention in South Korea as Chey was being groomed to lead the conglomerate and Roh was the daughter of South Korean president at that time Roh Tae-woo.

But in 2015, Chey sent a 3-page letter to a local newspaper, publicly confessing that he had extramarital affairs.

Two years later, Chey sought a divorce settlement mediated by a court but the two failed to reach an agreement, according to the Seoul Family Court database.

Last year, a divorce trial began with Chey as a plaintiff and Roh as a defendant. Roh filed a counterclaim against Chey on Wednesday, the Seoul Family Court records show.

“I think it is time to let my husband go and let him find happiness he has desperately desired,” Roh wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday, but did not mention her countersuit.

Lawyers for Chey and SK Group declined to comment on the case citing privacy concerns. Roh’s lawyers were not immediately available for comment.

($1 = 1,179.3300 won)

Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Ju-min Park. Editing by Jane Merriman