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Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and former wife reach biggest divorce deal in history

The US$35 billion (S$47.41 billion) divorce settlement sees Bezos retaining voting control of his entire US$143 billion (S$193.67 billion) stake in the company.

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and former wife reach biggest divorce deal in history

FILE PHOTO: 89th Academy Awards - Oscars Vanity Fair Party - Beverly Hills, California, U.S. - 26/02/17 – Amazon's Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

Amazon.com Inc Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos and his former wife MacKenzie have reached a record-breaking divorce settlement worth at least US$35 billion (S$47.41 billion).

This dwarfs the US$3.8 billion (S$5.15 billion) record set by art dealer Alex Wildenstein and his wife Jocelyn in 1999, reported BBC News.

Jeff Bezos will retain voting control of his entire US$143 billion stake (S$193.67 billion) in the company under the divorce settlement with MacKenzie Bezos, who will own 25 per cent of those shares, the couple said on Thursday (Apr 4).

The divorce settlement makes MacKenzie Bezos the fourth-largest shareholder of Amazon, behind Jeff Bezos and investment firms Vanguard Group and BlackRock.

She made the announcement in a tweet posted on Thursday (Apr 4). “Grateful to have finished the process of dissolving my marriage with Jeff with support from each other,” she wrote.

“Happy to be giving him all of my interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, and 75% of our Amazon stock plus voting control of my shares.” 

The couple, who have four children, got married in 1993, a year before Jeff Bezos set up Amazon with MacKenzie employed as one of the firm's first members of staff.

Even after the divorce, Bezos will remain the richest individual in the world, with a net worth over US$110 billion (S$148.99 billion) as of Thursday, reported Forbes.

The divorce settlement will make MacKenzie Bezos the third-wealthiest woman in the world, according to Forbes, trailing L’Oréal’s Francoise Bettencourt Meyers (with a net worth of US$52.9 billion) and Walmart’s Alice Walton (US$45 billion).

She is a successful novelist who has written two books, The Testing of Luther Albright and Traps, and was taught by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison at Princeton University and who once said of her pupil that she was "one of the best students I've ever had in my creative-writing classes ... really one of the best".

Jeff Bezos began dating Fox News host Lauren Sanchez, the former wife of Endeavor executive chairman Patrick Whitesell, last year. Sanchez and Whitesell, who were married in 2005, separated last fall.

Source: CNA/jv

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