Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife have announced they will separate after 25 years.
According to the Amazon CEO, the couple have broken up on good terms, as the couple said: “we remain a family and we remain cherished friends”.
However according to TMZ, the couple does not have a prenuptial agreement, so Mr Bezos’ wife could be granted 50 percent of Jeff Bezos’ assets.
and his wife MacKenzie did not have a prenuptial agreement and she will, therefore, be entitled to half of his massive $140billion fortune, according to TMZ.
Their divorce will be filed in Washington, a community property state, meaning all assets acquired during the marriage by either spouse are split equally unless there is a prenup.
This would make 48-year-old MacKenzie Bezos the world’s richest woman, with a fortune of $70billion.
Since the duo’s fortune was amassed after they wed – just six months after meeting – there would have been little thought of a prenup at the time.
Jeff’s wealth has grown exponentially in the last five years, with Forbes estimating his net worth at $32 billion in March of 2014.
Soon after the couple married in 1993, Bezos left his job as vice-president of a New York investment firm and they moved to a one-bedroom rented home in Seattle.
It was in the garage of this house Bezos set up Amazon in 1994, and they continued to live in the modest home until 1999, the year he was first included on Forbes’ Billionaires list with a registered net worth of $10.1bn.
When Bezos’ net worth reached $105.1 billion in January of 2018, CNN reported that he was the richest person in history.
Now, he’s worth $136.9 billion, and he and MacKenzie are thought to own more land, together, than almost anyone else in the United States of America, according to Business Insider.
Even with a $70 billion fortune, the Amazon founder would still be ranked fifth richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
MacKenzie Bezos will be stealing the top spot from the current richest woman in the world, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, 65, from France, whose family-run global beauty company L’Oreal. Her massive fortune of $46.5bn will be dwarfed by a divorced Mrs Bezos.
So the divorce may be amicable rather than fraught with tension over how to divide the assets.
The Bezos’ are divorcing in the state of Washington, where divorce law is clear, and granted only if there has been an “irretrievable breakdown” and considered “no fault” as demanded by the Washington State Constitution.
Any assets or property not inherited or gifted to one spouse by name are considered to be owned by both spouses and will be split accordingly.
Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest man and has an estimated wealth of $137bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
It may be hard to split his portfolio and large fortune, including five homes, equally and is likely to take some time.
Mr Bezos also owns around 80 million shares of Amazon, which is around 16.2 percent of the firm, worth about $132 billion.
If half of these shares go to MacKenzie Bezos, the value of Amazon could drop, especially if she chooses to dump the shares.
But it is doubtful MacKenzie would want to have a detrimental effect on Amazon.
If he does have to divide his shares, Jeff Bezos may lose control of the company, so MacKenzie is unlikely to push for a settlement that would require Mr Bezos to sell shares that would dilute his control of Amazon.
David Starks, an attorney told CNBC: “I have to imagine that some of the longest conversations and most legal mind power went into how to fashion a settlement that retained Jeff Bezos’ ability to remain a controlling shareholder in Amazon.”
He said MacKenzie could have agreed to give up claim to the stock in exchange for another asset.
Jeffrey Fisher, a divorce attorney, said: “The issue will be how to value the assets with diminished control.
“There would be an argument by the attorneys that the Amazon stake is not worth as much without Bezos in control, so that would affect any settlement.”
The couple met during a job interview when Mr Bezos hired his now ex-wife for a job at the hedge fund D.E Shaw.
They were married within six months and a year after meeting, the Amazon CEO launched the famous company, of which MacKenzie was one of the first employees, working as an accountant.
The couple are splitting up after a “trial separation”, with the announcement of the divorce being confirmed through a joint statement released on Twitter.
“If we had known we would separate after 25 years of marriage, we would do it all again,” the joint statement said.
Get the amazing y. 786a2 Trilogy: The inheritance, Game of losers and Love has a mind of its own.