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Primer for high-asset divorce: Rupert Murdoch’s third dissolution

| Jun 20, 2013 | Property Division

Media magnate and uber-rich business tycoon Rupert Murdoch must be somewhat of a romantic. Despite the obviously crushing workload necessitated over many decades in order to amass a multi-billion-dollar fortune in the entertainment and news reporting business, Murdoch has still managed to marry — multiple times — and have a handful-plus of children.

His problem: None of those marriages worked, and coming out of them each time seems to be a dauntingly expensive proposition.

As to just how pricey, his dissolution the second time around sheds light on the scope of high-asset property division for the truly wealthy.

To wit: Murdoch’s divorce in 1998 from his second wife, Anna, reportedly cost him in the vicinity of $1.7 billion.

Put another way: That amounts to one million dollars being stacked up 1,700 times.

And there may be further mathematical formulas and imagery to soon contemplate in light of the announcement just last week in New York that Murdoch has filed for divorce from his third wife, Wendi. The couple married in 1999 and has two young daughters.

Murdoch’s media empire, named News Corporation, includes well-known names such as Fox Broadcasting, Harper Collins, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post. The business is collectively valued at more than $70 billion, with Murdoch’s personal wealth being estimated at about $11 billion.

It is presently uncertain how much of that Wendi will get, although pundits say that dissolution negotiations promise to be sharp and lively.

A special focus: There are six Murdoch children from Rupert Murdoch’s three marriages. Reportedly, only the four older children from his first two marriages have the right to name trustees for the family trust, which equates essentially to company control once Murdoch passes on. Wendi Murdoch’s children do not have voting rights, which commentators say will likely be an issue of some contention during the divorce proceedings.

Source: New York Times, “After 14 years, Murdoch files for divorce from third wife,” Amy Chozick, June 13, 2013

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