Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, who announced they are divorcing after 25 years of marriage, did not have a prenuptial agreement – meaning they will divide their gargantuan fortune equally, according to a report on Thursday,
Bezos, 54 — who sits at the top of Forbes’ world billionaires ranking with a real-time worth of $137.1 billion — and MacKenzie, 48 –an award-winning novelist — live in Washington state, a “community property state,” meaning divorcing couples without a prenup split assets 50-50, according to TMZ, which cited “sources with direct knowledge” of their arrangement.
Since Amazon was founded a year after the Bezoses tied the knot, MacKenzie could fetch as much as $66 billion based on the value of the company today, according to CNBC.
To fund a settlement of that magnitude, Bezos would have sell or pledge shares, which could dilute his ownership and control of the company.
He owns just under 80 million shares, or just under 16 percent of Amazon, CNBC reported, citing regulatory filings.
But divorce lawyers say MacKenzie will very likely want the family fortune to keep growing, so she would probably not push for a settlement that would require him to sell shares, according to the news outlet.
The couple on Wednesday described their breakup as very amicable.
“We want to make people aware of a development in our lives,” Bezos tweeted. “As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends.”
He continued: “We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other. If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.”
The couple will remain “cherished friends,” the statement read.