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Miss Malaysia to get £500m payout in Britain's biggest ever divorce

Written By Joseph Y. Musa on Saturday, March 16, 2013 | 3/16/2013 08:57:00 pm


Pauline Chai, now 66, is divorcing Malaysian businessman Khoo Kay Peng


Chairman of Malaysian United Industries has properties around the world
The 74-year-old also owns a 40 per cent stake in Laura Ashley
Divorce petition filed last month on grounds of 'unreasonable behaviour'

A former Miss Malaysia could receive Britain's biggest ever divorce settlement of up to £500million after splitting from her multimillionaire husband.
Pauline Chai, who lives in the couple's former family home on a 1,000 acre estate in Hertfordshire, is seeking half of Khoo Kay Peng's fortune.
Lawyers believe she could be awarded between £400million and £500million, The Times has reported.
Khoo Kay Peng
Jet setting couple: Malaysian businessmen Khoo Kay Peng, left, is set to divorce his wife Pauline Chai, right, a former Miss Malaysia from 1969
Dr Khoo, chairman of Malaysian United Industries, has properties in England, Kuala Lumpur and Australia.
    The 74-year-old also has a 40 per cent stake in Laura Ashley, which now has sales of £286 million a year, and is director of Corus Hotels Limited which owns ten hotels including the grand Corus Hyde Park Hotel.
    The couple, who married in 1970 and have five grown-up children, bought the estate in Hertfordshire in 1998 which is said to include a menagerie of animals and two custom-built lakes costing £60,000 each. 
    Ms Chai, now 66, lodged a petition for divorce in London last month on the grounds of 'unreasonable behaviour' and preliminary hearings are expected to take place in the coming months.
    Lavish: Dr Khoo is a director of Corus Hotels Limited which owns the Corus Hotel in Hyde Park
    Lavish: Dr Khoo is a director of Corus Hotels Limited which owns the Corus Hotel in Hyde Park
    The question of how much Dr Khoo is worth is expected to dominate proceedings as much of his assets are technically owned by his companies.
    'English law works on the basis of a 50-50 split of assets unless there is a reason to depart from that principle,' Ayesha Vardag, the lawyer acting for Ms Chai told The Times. 
    'We have wealth here that was built up over 40 years and a wife's entitlement would be half of that. Any question of need is secondary.' 
    Ms Vardag added that as Ms Chai has made her home in England she is entitled to seek justice here.
    It is the latest in a series of big-money international divorce cases to be brought to the UK courts.
    They include the wife of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky who received somewhere between £100million and £200million after the pair agreed a settlement out of court.
    In 2008 Beverley Charman was awarded £48million when her marriage to John Charman, who built up his fortune in the insurance industry, came to an end.
    It remains the biggest court-ordered payout for a divorce in British history.



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