Jeff and MacKenzie’s separation could result in the most expensive divorce ever across the globe
The CEO and owner of Amazon have declared to terminate his 25 years of marriage with his partner, MacKenzie Bezos in the previous week, regardless of whatever result his actions may have yielded.
Jeff Bezos, who happens to be the richest man on earth according to Forbes, owns almost 79 million, or 16.3 percent, of Amazon’s approximate 477 million shares. They make him the company’s biggest shareholder and are a large part of his $137 billion net worth. Now, following his recent action of separating with his partner; the richest man may eventually drop in the list of the richest people on earth, as half of his net worth may be transferred to his ex-wife.
While transaction that follows the separation is yet to be finalized, Bezos’ divorce could see Jeff’s stake in the firm drastically reduced if he’s forced to give half of them to MacKenzie. An 8 percent stake would put her ahead of the company’s second-largest stakeholder, Vanguard, which owns 8 percent of the company’s total shares.
Also, the state house in Washington and the Amazon HQ are both community properties, hence, any assets and debts accrued during a marriage must be divided equally in the event of a divorce; considering that Amazon was founded after Jeff and MacKenzie were married, she could end up with half of her ex-husband’s shares. If the couple does file in Washington State, which seems likely, it appears that the only way MacKenzie won’t walk away with a large stake in Amazon is if the couple had a prenuptial agreement. But according to a reliable source with direct knowledge, they did not.
As a matter of fact, Amazon’s stock may tumble, if MacKenzie decides to put her own shares for sale, otherwise, she may decide not to, which hence, gives her an upper hand in the company, considering that she may own to a lot of power when it comes to voting on company policies.
“MacKenzie Bezos will get $66 billion in her divorce settlement with Jeff Bezos. This is the biggest transfer of wealth since Warren Buffett left his debit card at a McDonald’s drive-through.”@DesiLydic reports. pic.twitter.com/NCd1itEOPW
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 10, 2019
There are several things to remember here: in addition to whether or not the pair had a prenup, the decision on whether the shares are divided could come down to how a judge classify Bezos’ stock, and whether their increase in value was solely down to his work at Amazon. Additionally, even if MacKenzie gets them, Amazon may restructure to ensure that Jeff still owns enough voting power with his stock.
There’s also the possibility that the sharing of assets was agreed before the couple announced their divorce. The pair said the decision to separate was amicable and that they remain friends, but some tabloids claim Bezos was having an affair with former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez, which, if true, could see proceedings turn ugly.