Investors have been nervous that a billionaire oilman who holds the controlling shares of his company would lose them in his current divorce. The company has extracted billions of barrels of oil -- they are now approaching a mark of one millions barrels per day -- from the shale. This makes them one of the wealthiest companies in this sector, and the owner is very high on the overall list of the wealthiest billionaires in the world.
The man and his wife have not be together for years, living estranged for much of the last decade, and they have filed for divorce multiple times before this one. This time, however, it looks like it is going to go through, and the judge is working to figure out what the settlement will be and how his wealth should be distributed between the two of them. The part that worried investors was that she would be given half of his shares, shifting the balance of power and potentially hurting their own shares in the company.
They now can rest assured that such a thing is not going to happen. The judge recently revealed that he considers most of the shares in the company to be assets that the man owned before he was originally married. As such, they are not to be divided between the two of them. He will retain the shares that he owns and his control in his company, so there should not be any impact on the company's value, even after the issues are resolved.
When it comes to the end of a marriage, it is important for the judge to determine what is fair and just for both sides. This is true for those without very many assets at all and for those with billions of dollars and shares in huge corporations.
Source: Forbes, "Judge: Billionaire Hamm To Retain Control Of Continental Resources In Divorce Settlement" Christopher Helman, Mar. 04, 2014