Tuesday May 30, 2023 – A judge has ordered a Swedish businesswoman worth about £250 million to pay her estranged husband more than £6.5 million following the breakdown of their six-year marriage.
Louise Backstrom and Martin Wennberg, who are both in their 30s, had been embroiled in a dispute over money in a London private family court.
Mr Wennberg wanted a financial package worth more than £40 million but Deputy High Court judge Leslie Samuels has ruled against him.
Judge Samuels, who oversees hearings in the Family Division of the High Court at the Royal Courts of Justice, considered evidence at a recent private trial.
He has outlined his conclusions in a written judgment and named the people involved.
Judge Samuels said Ms Backstrom made a £6.5 million ‘housing fund’ offer in accordance with the terms of a pre-marital agreement. He said that agreement should carry ‘full weight’.
The judge said Ms Backstrom should also hand over about £60,000 a year over the next six years to meet Mr Wennberg’s ‘income needs’.
The judge was told Ms Backstrom, 33, and Mr Wennberg, 39, are Swedish but lived in England.
Ms Backstrom was chairman of the Biltema Foundation and a minority shareholder in Birgma Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited, a family business started and controlled by her grandfather, the judge was told.
He concluded that Ms Backstrom had assets of around £250 million – and Mr Wennberg assets of £2 million.
‘The parties met in Stockholm and formed a relationship in March 2012,’ the judge said.
‘When they met, the wife was a student and the husband was working selling luxury watches.’
He said they started living together in 2014, married in 2015 and separated in 2021.
‘On any view the standard of living enjoyed by this family before the breakdown of the marriage was extremely high,’ the judge said.
‘The parties enjoyed the provision of high value London properties, staff, expensive holidays, limitless travel options and, overall, the best that money can provide.’
The judge said Mr Wennberg ‘filed no evidence’ and did not provide ‘any disclosure of his financial position’.
He said Mr. Wennberg was in breach of orders requiring him to provide financial information.
Detail of the litigation emerged in March, when Ms. Backstrom said Mr. Wennberg had breached court orders made during the dispute and was in contempt.
She asked another judge to impose a jail sentence.
Mr. Justice Peel, who considered Ms. Backstrom’s contempt complaint at a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, ruled Mr Wennberg had breached earlier orders made by judges.
A judge is due to make decisions about sentencing later this year.