Bill Gates Transfers $3 Billion In Shares To Melinda Amid Divorce
After announcing their intent to divorce earlier this month, Bill and Melinda Gates are in the process of sorting through their finances, including the division of their shares. New reports suggest that Bill has transferred more than $3 billion to his soon-to-be ex-wife in the past several weeks.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Bill most recently transferred over $850 million in Deere & Co. shares. Deere & Co. is an equipment manufacturer based in Illinois. The company makes and distributes a wide range of agricultural, construction, forestry, and commercial equipment. Bill reportedly made the large transfer this past Thursday via his investment vehicle, Cascade Investment LLC. As a result of the transfer, Melinda now has a 7 percent stake (2.25 million shares) in the company.
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However, Bill still has a strong hold over the company. He reportedly still owns approximately 9.3% of the company (29.3 million shares). WSJ explains that he made the transfer because he previously had a stake larger than 10 percent in the company, which comes with a reporting requirement.
Bill has made several other large transfers to his wife of 27-years over the last few weeks. PEOPLE reports that he’s also transferred stakes in “Coca-Cola bottler, a Canadian railroad, AutoNation Inc. and [several] other companies.” In total, it’s believed these transfers come close to $2.4 billion. Couple with the most recent transfer for Deer and Co., Bill has now transferred more than $3 billion shares to his wife’s name.
However, this will hardly make a dent in Bill’s pocketbook. The co-founder of Microsoft has an estimated net worth of almost $130 billion. Reports suggest that Bill and Melinda have already agreed on the terms of their separation, of which the details have not been made public. They former couple are reportedly working to keep their divorce as private as possible.
Bill and Melinda filed for divorce on May 3rd. Even though the end of their marriage came as a surprise to many, sources say it’s been a long-time coming. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Melinda met with divorce lawyers as early as 2019. At the time, she allegedly described their marriage as “irretrievably broken.” Since then, she’s reportedly worked with lawyers from several firms to start the divorce proceedings.
In the past, Bill has admitted to infidelity, including an affair with a Microsoft staffer that dates back to 2000 (though it only recently came to light). As a result of the scandal, Bill announced he would be stepping down from the Microsoft Board last year. Although the businessman’s spokesperson confirmed the affairs of the rumor, Bill has been adamant it wasn’t the reason he left the board.
Sources: Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal, PEOPLE Magazine,
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