MacKenzie Bezos is set to become the world’s fourth-richest woman after her divorce from Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos is finalized. She’ll receive a 4 per cent Amazon stake, currently worth about $36 billion, as part of the settlement, according to a filing Thursday from the Seattle-based company. The divorce is expected to be completed in about 90 days.
Her stake in Amazon ranks her behind the $54 billion fortune of L’Oreal SA heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the $44 billion held by Alice Walton and the $37 billion net worth of Jacqueline Badger Mars, according to calculations by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Jeff Bezos, 55, will continue to exercise sole voting authority over the shares, according to the filing. He will probably remain the world’s richest person, with a 12 per cent Amazon stake that’s currently valued at $107 billion. He will retain other assets, including the Washington Post and space-exploration company Blue Origin, which adds $4 billion to his fortune, according to the index.
“Happy to be giving him all of my interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, and 75 per cent of our Amazon stock plus voting control of my shares,” MacKenzie Bezos, 48, said in a tweet.
Jeff Bezos said in a tweet that he was “grateful to all my friends and family for reaching out with encouragement and love. It means more than you know. MacKenzie most of all.”
The agreement makes it the most expensive divorce on record. Oil industry magnate Harold Hamm was ordered to pay Sue Ann Arnall $972 million of his then-estimated $16.1 billion fortune in 2014 after a two-year trial. Arnall later sought to reopen the case but the Oklahoma Supreme Court dismissed the appeal in 2015.
The Bezos agreement, reached within three months of the announcement that the pair were divorcing, suggests it was an amicable separation.
“It’s a win-win,” said Jennifer Payseno, a partner with McKinley Irvin in Seattle. “Any time you can really work through things and reach an agreement you are far better off that if you’d gone to court and into litigation or arbitration.”