How Bill and Melinda Gates plan to divide over $130 billion of assets

Bill and Melinda Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates have reached an agreement about dividing more than $130 billion of assets.

On Monday, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, who are co-founders of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, filed for divorce after 27 years of their marriage. “This marriage is irretrievably broken,” they said in a court filing.

The billionaire benefactors have come up with a mutually agreeable way to split their assets. In their divorce petition, the couple asked the court to split their communal property, liabilities, and business as described in their separation contract, which has been kept under the wraps.

With a net worth of $130.5 billion, Bill is listed as the fourth world’s richest individual in the world by Forbes. However, the net worth of Melinda, who founded an investment company focused on women and families in 2015, is still not clear.

At the end of 2019, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had a net worth of $43.3 billion. In 2020, the foundation announced it would shell out $300 million on vaccines, detection, and treatment of COVID-19.

Bill and Melinda Gates have gifted over $36 billion to the Seattle-based foundation from 1994 through 2018. With their asset now divided, their philanthropic work is likely to be affected.

The couple released a joint statement, saying they will continue working together at the foundation. In another statement, the Gates Foundation said the couple would continue serving as co-chairs and trustees of the organization.

The split comes just two years after the divorce of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, another billionaire, and philanthropist, with his then-wife MacKenzie Scott. Their decision to settles their estate and the impact on the foundation due to their split will be closely watched.

Following her divorce from Bezos, Scott remarried and is currently focusing on her own philanthropy after receiving a 4 percent stake in Amazon, worth over a whopping $36 billion.

In Dec., Scott revealed that she donated more than $4.1 billion in the four previous months to emergency relief funds and food banks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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