World’s richest billionaire, Jeff Bezos, has sold off $4.1 billion of his stakes in Amazon.com Inc.
Bezos who split with his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, in 2019 had seen him share all his wealth with his divorced wife.
However, because he was supposed to share his wealth on a 50-50 ground with his ex-wife, according to the stipulations of the laws in Washington, he reportedly retained 75% of the whole wealth after his divorce, a development critics say was allowed by an agreement between Bezos and his divorced wife.
It was also said that his 75% retainership of the wealth may have allowed him to settle his ex financially, the reason most analysts say is why he is selling off his stakes in Amazon to pay his ex. It’s a community property state, meaning all assets and debt acquired during a marriage “will be divided equitably by the court if the couple cannot negotiate an agreement,” according to the website of McKinley Irvin, a family law firm in the region, cited by Bloomberg.
According to regulatory filings, Bezos sold 2 million shares, worth $4.1 billion, as part of a pre-arranged trading plan between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6, revealed Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
According to Bloomberg, “The terms of their divorce — at least those publicly disclosed in stock filings and a single tweet by MacKenzie Bezos in April — show that Jeff Bezos retained 75% of the couple’s stake in Amazon as well as interests in the Washington Post newspaper and rocket company Blue Origin. The pair may have agreed to a cash payment in return for such an uneven split, according to divorce lawyers.
“It’s possible the agreement provided for some cash transfer,” said Peter Walzer, founding partner of law firm Walzer Melcher and a past president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “Cash is king.”
Bezos, 56, has plenty of other expenses. As well as supporting Blue Origin to the tune of $1 billion a year, his lifestyle has become increasingly glamorous. He owns properties on both coasts and 170,000 hectares (420,000 acres) of desert scrub in Texas. He’s been house hunting for a mega-mansion in Los Angeles, according to the New York Post, and has reportedly started making waves in the art world.
The billionaire has also cemented himself as a power player in Hollywood. During Sunday’s Oscars ceremony, comedians Chris Rock and Steve Martin took turns roasting him.
“Jeff Bezos is so rich, he got divorced and he’s still the richest man in the world,” Rock said.
Whatever the reason for his sales, the proceeds still make up just a fraction of his wealth. The divestiture amounted to less than 4% of his Amazon holdings, which had a value of $116 billion on Friday.