Britain's top court has handed an oil tycoon a costly setback in a divorce case, ruling he must give his ex-wife assets held by companies he owns.

In a case with significant implications, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Nigeria-born Michael Prest should surrender seven properties to his estranged English wife, Yasmin.

The couple married in 1993 and divorced in 2011, with Michael Prest ordered to transfer the properties as partial payment of a 17.5 million pound ($27.2 million) settlement.

He appealed, but Supreme Court justices ruled the properties belonged to him and should be included in a divorce settlement.

Yasmin Prest said the judgment was "more a case of satisfaction and relief than celebration. None of this would have been necessary if Michael had been sensible and played fair."