In spite of the loom­ing $68.5 bil­lion di­vorce, his wife would not get shares

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AMA­ZON bil­lion­aire Jeff Be­zos will re­tain con­trol of the on­line re­tail gi­ant de­spite the prospect of a $68.5 bil­lion (£53 bil­lion) di­vorce.

Sources close to the world’s rich­est man, who has a for­tune val­ued at $137 bil­lion, said that the fu­ture of Ama­zon, of which he owns 16 per cent, is ‘safe’.

“Peo­ple have been spec­u­lat­ing that be­cause of his di­vorce, his wife will get half his shares and that will put the fu­ture of the com­pany in jeop­ardy,” a source close to 55-year-old Be­zos said.

“But this was all worked out last year. Ama­zon is not in dan­ger. The di­vorce set­tle­ment is far fur­ther along than any­one knows. Both Jeff and his wife are smart peo­ple. He is con­trol­ling Ama­zon”.

Be­zos and MacKen­zie, his wife of 25 years, an­nounced on Twit­ter last week that they were part­ing ‘as cher­ished friends’ and di­vorc­ing ‘af­ter a long pe­riod of lov­ing ex­plo­ration and trial sepa­ra­tion’. But within hours it emerged that Be­zos was in a re­la­tion­ship with Lau­ren Sanchez, a 49-year- old for­mer TV an­chor who split from her hus­band, the Hol­ly­wood tal­ent agent Patrick White­sell, last au­tumn.

The Be­zos di­vorce is likely to be the big­gest in his­tory.

The cou­ple, who mar­ried in 1993 shortly be­fore he founded Ama­zon, are un­der­stood to have no pre-nup­tial agree­ment, en­ti­tling her to half of his for­tune.

The cou­ple have a string of prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing a £25 mil­lion home in Washington State, a £20 mil­lion home in Bev­erly Hills and a

£19 mil­lion con­verted mu­seum in Washington DC, along with

400,000 acres of land. How­ever, the ma­jor­ity of his wealth lies in his Ama­zon shares and there were fears he might have to sell some of his stake, po­ten­tially af­fect­ing the value of the on­line gi­ant. But the source said: “The ma­jor­ity of Jeff’s wealth is tied up in Ama­zon shares. He will re­tain con­trol of the com­pany and will re­main the ma­jor­ity share­holder. The deal is still be­ing worked out be­cause there are so

The Be­zos di­vorce af­ter 25 years is likely to be the most ex­pen­sive in his­tory

many com­plex as­sets, but there is no dan­ger of him los­ing his ma­jor­ity stake in Ama­zon. That has been agreed”.

Mean­while, a close friend of Sanchez in­sisted that she and Be­zos are ‘madly in love’ and plan to marry as soon as their re­spec­tive di­vorces are fi­nalised. A US tabloid claimed that Be­zos ‘cheated’ on his 46year-old wife, with whom he has four chil­dren, by start­ing his re­la­tion­ship with Sanchez be­fore they had for­mally split.

Jeff paid $23 mil­lion for the for­mer Tex­tile Mu­seum in Washington DC.

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