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Amazon's Bezos agrees record-breaking $35 billion divorce settlement

MacKenzie Bezos retains a 4% stake in online retail giant Amazon which her husband founded in 1994.

Jeff Bezos Finalizes Divorce to Wife McKenzie Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos Source: Javier Rojas/PA Images

AMAZON CEO JEFF Bezos, the world’s richest person, has agreed a divorce settlement with his wife MacKenzie worth $35 billion (€31bn). 

The record-breaking settlement means MacKenzie Bezos retains a 4% stake in online retail giant Amazon which her husband founded in 1994. Jeff Bezos will have a 12% stake in the company, valued at more than $108 billion (€96bn). 

Jeff Bezos will still be Amazon’s largest shareholder, and he’ll also keep voting control of MacKenzie Bezos’s shares, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. MacKenzie Bezos will also give up her interest in The Washington Post, the newspaper Jeff Bezos bought in 2013 and Blue Origin, the space exploration company he founded.

The Bezoses, who have four children, first announced their divorce in January, just before the National Enquirer published a story that said Jeff Bezos was having an affair with a former TV host.

He later accused the tabloid’s publisher of threatening to publish explicit photos of him unless he stopped investigating how the Enquirer obtained private messages between himself and his lover.

The divorce ends a 25-year marriage that played a role in creating one of the world’s most valuable companies.

The Bezoses met in New York in the early 1990s while working at a hedge fund together. They married just six months after they began dating.

Bezos then quit his job to start an online bookstore and wrote a business plan. By 1995, Amazon was operating out of a garage, with MacKenzie Bezos helping her husband run the company. 

Amazon now produces movies, runs the Whole Foods grocery chain and has become the leader in voice-activated speakers. The company has become so large that it plans to build a second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

In a tweet yesterday, Mackenzie said that she was “excited” about her future plans, but didn’t say what they were.

“Grateful for the past as I look forward to what comes next,” she said.

“I’m grateful for her support and for her kindness in this process,” Jeff Bezos said in a tweet yesterday. “And am very much looking forward to our new relationship as friends and co-parents.”

The divorce is expected to be finalised in 90 days. 

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Associated Press

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