Former world’s richest man, Bill Gates, is expected to part with a huge slice of his considerable fortune in a development that will likely rank as the world’s most expensive divorce; effectively transforming his ex-wife, Melinda into one of the world’s richest women.
The development comes after the Microsoft co-founder and his wife announced their divorce on Monday.
Bill Gates and Melinda jointly run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private philanthropic foundation. However, they disclosed that they would continue to work together on the foundation.
The divorce comes after 27 years of marriage and three kids.
Now, feelers reaching 1st News indicate that Melinda may likely become the world’s richest woman from the settlement expected to come to her from their split. Bill Gates is currently estimated to be worth about $130bn and projections say Melinda may receive about $40bn from the marriage.
The amount will dwarf the sum of over $35bn received by MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon boss; Jeff Bezos after she received a 4% stake in the business. That figure so far remains the world’s most expensive divorce.
Bill Gates is renowned as a gentleman who is not as money-driven as other entrepreneurs. Consequently, he is expected to be very fair and considerate in reaching an agreement with ex-wife, Melinda in their settlement. If she receives the touted figure of about $40bn, the development will see her rank among the world’s richest women list; an exclusive list which MacKenzie Scott, Bezos’ ex-wife currently belongs to.
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Indeed, the potential of Bill Gates parting with a huge chunk of his wealth was confirmed by Forbes.
According to Forbes: ‘‘It’s unclear how the couple will divide their assets or whether they signed a prenup. But due to the sheer size of their fortune, the split will likely be one of the largest divorce settlements in history.
‘‘Bill Gates, who in 1975 cofounded Microsoft MSFT -0.1%, is worth $130.5 billion; making him the fourth richest person in the world, according to Forbes. Gates first became the world’s richest person—with a $12.9 billion fortune—in 1995; one year after he married Melinda.’’
Meanwhile, news of the potentially expensive divorce came as a shock to many; especially in view of the long years spent together by the couple.
However, the announcement by Bill Gates seemed to point to some irreconcilable differences.
‘‘After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship; we have made the decision to end our marriage…We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives.’’
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
Bill and Melinda Gates met at Microsoft in 1987 shortly after Melinda started working there as a product manager. Thereafter, the couple got married seven years later in 1994. He became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire after Microsoft went public in 1986.
Equally important, the philanthropic couple has so far given away over $29bn to charity and other philanthropic causes.