Billionaire oilman Harold Hamm can keep his controlling interest in Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources Inc. as part of any settlement of his ongoing divorce case, a judge has ruled.
Oklahoma District Court Judge Howard Haralson ruled Feb. 13 that Hamm’s nearly 125 million shares of Continental is considered “pre-marital” property. The stock is worth about about $15.4 billion, based on Tuesday’s closing price of $123.65.
The court has not yet decided, however, how to divide the value of the stock as it has grown over the course of the marriage. That decision, the judge wrote, “is reserved for further determination.”
Until then, Hamm is required to hold onto the stock and is prevented from selling or transferring it.
Attorneys for both Harold and Sue Ann Hamm did not return phone calls to The Oklahoman on Tuesday.
A Continental Resources spokeswoman said the divorce proceeding “has not and is not anticipated to have any impact or effect on the company’s business or operations.”
In a friend-of-the-court brief filed Feb. 18, Continental said it takes no position on the case, but that Sue Ann Hamm and her attorneys have demanded thousands of pages of documents and dozens of depositions “not toward effective trial preparation, but toward and obvious desire to delay trial.”
Sue Ann Hamm has asked for depositions of more than 60 Continental employees and directors, and the company has produced more than 631,000 pages of documents, the filing stated.
Records that have not been sealed in the case show Sue Ann Hamm’s attorneys have asked Continental Resources to produce documents, along with files from several private companies in which Hamm has an ownership stake.
The Hamms married in Las Vegas in 1988.
Harold Hamm became a billionaire overnight in May 2007 when Continental became publicly traded. At the time of Continental’s initial public offering, his stake in the company was worth more than $2 billion.
The stock price has since ballooned 724 percent, and Harold Hamm still owns about 68 percent of the shares.
Oklahoma County court records show the divorce petition was filed under seal May 18, 2012, with “Jane Doe” as the plaintiff.
Brianna Bailey and