Jeff Bezos reportedly agrees to $52 billion divorce settlement

Author
James Hall, news.com.au,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Monday, 1 July 2019, 4:54PM
The settlement will make Mackenzie Bezos the fourth richest woman in the world. (Photo /Getty)
The settlement will make Mackenzie Bezos the fourth richest woman in the world. (Photo /Getty)

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has reportedly agreed to pay the world’s biggest divorce settlement that will include his former partner MacKenzie Bezos receiving a 4 per cent stake in the online shopping giant.

It’s believed a judge will sign legal papers transferring the shares worth more than $52 billion, which eclipses the previous record of $3.5 billion paid to Jocelyn Wildenstein after her separation to art dealer Alec Wildenstein.

The settlement will make author Ms Bezos the fourth-richest woman in the world, but she has already promised to hand over at least half to charity.

The portion Mr Bezos is holding on to is worth about $140 billion, enabling him to retain the title of the richest man in the world, beating out Microsoft mogul Bill Gates by $6 billion.

The Amazon boss will take control of Ms Bezos’ remaining stock in his other companies, The Washington Post and Blue Origin, the space exploration company he founded.

In April, the two who married in 1993, the year before Mr Bezos started Amazon from his garage in Seattle, announced details of their split on Twitter.

“I’m grateful for her support and for her kindness in this process,” Mr Bezos said in a tweet.

The two didn’t go in to detail about dividing their expansive properties and other investments — keeping the tone light and gracious in their statements.

Their decades-long marriage came to a halt in January when Mr Bezos’ romance with his now-girlfriend Lauren Sanchez was brought into light.

The couple announced they were divorcing in January, just before the National Enquirer published a story saying Mr Bezos was having an affair.

He later accused the tabloid’s publisher of threatening to publish explicit photos of him unless he stopped investigating how the Enquirer obtained his private messages.

Since then, there has only been speculation surrounding other details of the highly-publicised split.

The Bezos divorce settlement is the most expensive in history, easily eclipsing other payouts.

French-American businessman and art dealer Mr Wildenstein divorced his wife of 21 years, Ms Wildenstein, in 1999 at a cost of $5.3 billion.

Rupert Murdoch reportedly paid $2.4 billion to his former wife, Anna, in 1998, while Formula One executive Bernie Ecclestone forked out $1.7 billion to Slavica Radic when their marriage ended in 2009.

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