Grindr's Owner Pays Wife $1B in One of China's Costliest Divorces Ever

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Grindr app.

Photographer: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire via AP Photo
  • Said to be one of the most expensive divorces ever in China
  • Payment comes from share transfer from Zhou’s gaming company

Zhou Yahui, the Chinese billionaire who earlier this year bought a controlling stake in the gay dating app Grindr, is transferring shares worth $1.1 billion from his online gaming company to his wife in what is being billed one of China’s costliest divorce settlements ever.

Zhou, the chairman of Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., is giving about 278 million shares of the company to Li Qiong, according to a Sept. 12 filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange. He will hold a 34.5 percent stake in Kunlun following the settlement, while Li’s stake will be 26.4 percent.

Kunlun, in its filing, didn’t say why Zhou and Li are dividing the assets. But several media outlets, including China Daily, and the Financial Times, called the transaction one of China’s most-expensive divorces.

Zhou and Li, as a couple, were worth 23 billion yuan ($3.45 billion) and were the youngest billionaires in China, China Daily reported on March 23, citing the Hurun Global Rich List.

After the settlement, reached in a civil court in the Haidian district of Beijing, Li will directly own about 207.4 million shares in Beijing Kunlun, and will indirectly own a further 70.5 million shares via a stake she’s acquiring in BJ Yingrui Century, one of Kulun’s biggest shareholders, according to the filing. Kunlun closed Wednesday at 26.44 yuan, or about $3.96.

Li’s Kunlun shares remain subject to a lockup period expiring in January 2018, to which Zhou and BJ Yingrui had previously agreed.

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