Asos chief told to give ex-wife £70m after divorce cash fight


An award-winning entrepreneur has been told to hand about a third of a £220 million fortune to his ex-wife after a High Court cash battle.

Nick Robertson, 48, a founder of online fashion retailer Asos, had argued that former wife Janine, 43, should get about £30 million worth of assets.

She wanted nearly £110 million.

A judge has concluded that she should get around £70 million after a public trial in the Family Division of the High Court.

Mr Justice Holman said he had been asked to decide how much Mr Robertson's ex-wife should get after the pair failed to settle the dispute.

The judge said a central issue was how the value of some shares and some property owned by Mr Robertson should be divided.

Only Mr Robertson was in court on Tuesday to hear the judge's ruling - his ex-wife did not attend.

Each had run up lawyers' bills of around £500,000 during the litigation, said Mr Justice Holman.

"I strongly urged the parties to settle the case," said the judge. "But no compromise has resulted."

He said he hope both could now move on with their lives.

Mr Robertson, who has won several entrepreneur of the year awards and was once described by a newspaper as one of the "greatest entrepreneurs" of the century, stepped down as Asos chief executive in September, the judge heard.

Asos, which stands for As Seen On Screen and sells more than 80,000 branded and own-brand products to nearly 10 million customers, was founded in 2000 - four years before the couple married.

More than 3,000 people work for Asos in the UK and the company has won a long list of awards, the judge said.

The couple - who have two children - met in 2002, married in 2004 and separated in 2013, he said.

Mr Robertson has a new partner.

The judge was told of a property portfolio worth nearly £60 million.

He heard that the couple owned homes in London, Oxfordshire and France, plus cars, including a Mercedes, a Bentley and a Ferrari, and boats worth about £2 million.

Mrs Robertson had "negligible means" when she began living with Mr Robertson, said the judge.

Mr Justice Holman said Mr Robertson was the "money maker" in the marriage but Mrs Robertson had been an "excellent home-maker and an excellent mother".

Both had "contributed equally" when living together, said the judge. But, he said, Mr Robertson had worked on his business project before marrying.