Judge orders Swedish multi-millionaire to give her estranged husband more than £6.5m in bitter divorce battle

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A Swedish businesswoman, Louise Backstrom, worth approximately £250 million, has been ordered by a judge to pay her estranged husband, Martin Wennberg, over £6.5 million following the end of their six-year marriage.

The couple had been involved in a financial dispute in a London private family court. Mr. Wennberg had sought a financial package exceeding £40 million, but Deputy High Court judge Leslie Samuels ruled against his request.

Judge Samuels, who presides over cases in the Family Division of the High Court at the Royal Courts of Justice, considered the evidence presented during a recent private trial. His findings were outlined in a written judgment where he identified the parties involved.

According to Judge Samuels, Ms. Backstrom made an offer of a £6.5 million ‘housing fund’ in accordance with the terms of a pre-marital agreement, which he deemed to carry ‘full weight.’

Additionally, the judge ruled that Ms. Backstrom should provide approximately £60,000 per year for the next six years to meet Mr. Wennberg’s ‘income needs.’

The court heard that both Ms. Backstrom, 33, and Mr. Wennberg, 39, are Swedish but had been residing in England.

Ms. Backstrom served as the chairman of the Biltema Foundation and held a minority stake in Birgma Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited, a family business established and controlled by her grandfather, as stated by the judge.

Judge Samuels concluded that Ms. Backstrom possessed assets totaling around £250 million, while Mr. Wennberg’s assets amounted to £2 million.

Describing the couple’s background, the judge stated, “‘The parties met in Stockholm and formed a relationship in March 2012. When they met, the wife was a student and the husband was working selling luxury watches.”

They began living together in 2014, got married in 2015, and separated in 2021.

“The standard of living enjoyed by this family before the breakdown of the marriage was extremely high,” Judge Samuels remarked. “The parties enjoyed the provision of high-value London properties, staff, expensive holidays, limitless travel options, and, overall, the best that money can provide.”

Regarding Mr. Wennberg’s financial disclosures, the judge noted that he “filed no evidence” and failed to provide any disclosure of his financial position, thereby breaching orders.

In March, details of the litigation surfaced when Ms. Backstrom accused Mr. Wennberg of contempt and breaching court orders during the dispute. She requested that a judge impose a jail sentence.

Mr. Justice Peel, who considered the contempt complaint in a public hearing at the Family Division of the High Court in London, ruled that Mr. Wennberg had indeed violated earlier court orders.

Sentencing decisions are expected to be made later this year.