Amazon could soon have a large new individual shareholder in the form of MacKenzie Bezos as a result of her impending divorce from the company’s CEO.
Jeff Bezos owns 16% of the e-commerce giant, and MacKenzie could be entitled to up to half of those shares, which would giver her, with Jeff, one of the two largest stakes in the company.
Although the Bezoses are worth $137 billion on paper, nearly all of their assets are in the form of Amazon stock.
They live in, and will likely file for divorce in, Washington, which is a community-property state, which potentially gives her a claim on a sizeable portion of their wealth.
Because of the numerous variables in play, it’s unclear exactly how much Amazon stock she’ll end up with.
Jeff Bezos may soon have someone familiar looking over his shoulder when it comes to running Amazon and having substantial say about it — his soon-to-be ex-wife.
Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, announced Wednesday they plan to divorce after more than 25 years of marriage. Because nearly all of their $137 billion net worth is in the form of his stock in Amazon, it’s highly likely that she will end up with a substantial stake in the company as part of any separation agreement. Indeed, there’s a good chance that she could end up having the biggest stake in the company other than Bezos’.
“One would think so,” said Ira Garr, a family law attorney in New York who represented Rupert Murdoch and Ivana Trump in their respective divorce cases. “I can’t see anywhere else the settlement could come from.”
Read this: Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos may split his $137 billion fortune in half when they divorce — here’s what typically happens when billionaires break up
Bezos owns about 79 million shares of Amazon’s stock, which are worth about $130 billion. The shares give him a 16% stake in the company, making him its largest shareholder by far. The second largest is Vanguard, which had about 6% of Amazon shares as of last February.
Should Bezos have to give half of his shares to MacKenzie — a not-unthinkable outcome — her 39 million or so shares would give her an 8% stake in the company and vault her over Vanguard. Although she could opt for cash instead — which would force Bezos to sell off tens of millions of shares — or immediately turn around and sell the shares herself, it’s likely she’ll choose to hold on to her shares instead, legal experts said.
If she chose to sell — or forced Bezos to — “the stock would go way down,” Garr said.
MacKenzie will likely benefit from Washington state law
The reasons why MacKenzie could end up with such a huge stake in Amazon have a lot do with where the Bezos’ divorce proceedings are likely to occur.
Although the Bezoses have dwellings in different areas of the country, it’s likely they’ll file for divorce in Washington state, legal experts said. They have a home in the Seattle area where …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Life