Russian billionaire Rybolovlev told to pay ex-wife $4.5bn

Dmitri Rybolovlev applauds during an AS Monaco match against Caen - 4 May 2013 Dmitry Rybolovlev made his fortune in potash mining

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A Russian billionaire has been ordered to pay more than 4bn Swiss francs (£2.7bn; $4.5bn) to his ex-wife to settle a six-year divorce battle.

The Geneva court's verdict means Dmitry Rybolovlev, the owner of French football team AS Monaco, will lose around half of his estimated fortune.

Elena Rybolovleva has been fighting over the divorce terms since 2008.

Mr Rybolovlev, known as the "fertiliser king," made his money in mining potash, used in agricultural fertilisers.

His ex-wife's lawyer called the settlement "the most expensive divorce in history".

Ms Rybolovleva was also reported to have won custody of the couple's 13-year-old daughter Anna. They have another daughter - Ekaterina, a 25-year-old showjumper.

Dmitry Rybolovlev and his daughter Ekaterina watch AS Monaco against FC Lorient - 15 September 2013 Dmitry Rybolovlev has two daughters - his eldest is a showjumper

Mr Rybolovlev's lawyer did not comment but the judgement can go to appeal.

The couple, who wed in Cyprus, were married for 23 years.

Forbes values the businessman's fortune at $8.8bn, making him the world's 79th richest person.

Mr Rybolovlev bought AS Monaco Football Club in December 2011 and has spent millions on high-profile players in a battle against Qatari-owned club Paris Saint-Germain.

Although his club is based in the tiny principality of Monaco, it plays in the top football league of neighbouring France, finishing runner-up to the Paris club this season.

The billionaire lives in Monaco but has an extensive network of properties around the world.

He owns an estate in the southern French resort of Saint Tropez, a Greek island, a home in Miami previously owned by US businessman Donald Trump, and a villa in Hawaii bought from Hollywood star Will Smith.

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