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How the Bezos couple split Amazon assets

Fri 19 Apr, 2019 / by / Divorce

While some parts of the Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos divorce are more salacious, other aspects seem more amicable. The couple agreed on a divorce settlement that would give MacKenzie some Amazon stock while Jeff would have voting power for her shares. Here are some details about the Bezos divorce that Illinois residents might want to know about.

Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, who is 55, became the world’s richest person with the online company’s success. According to estimates from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, his fortune is worth around $150 billion. Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos were married for 25 years and met while employed at a hedge fund in New York. The couple has four children together.

There was some spectacle surrounding the Bezos split when the National Enquirer made allegations that Jeff was taking a mistress on exotic vacations. Jeff revealed that the tabloid tried to extort him with these claims. Both Jeff and MacKenzie had cordial words to say about the other on social media.

The divorce settlement to which the couple agreed must first get court approval but could result in MacKenzie keeping 25% of the couple’s stock in Amazon. Jeff will get the rest of the stock and keep his interests in Blue Origin and the Washington Post while MacKenzie will not.

MacKenzie’s stocks would give her a 4% stake in Amazon, which is valued at around $35 billion. Should MacKenzie sell her shares, the new owner would need to allow Jeff Bezos to retain his voting rights for those shares.

When dividing assets in a divorce, business interests are not separate property just because one spouse is not part of the business. Both parties may have a claim to the business if it was started after the marriage began. An attorney might be needed when negotiating for the value of a spouse’s portion of a business.

Source: CNN Business, “MacKenzie Bezos will keep 25% of the Bezos’ Amazon stock. Jeff Bezos keeps the voting power,” Seth Fiegerman, April 5, 2019