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, last night told The Mail on Sunday 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 keeping control of 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.