The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sold all its shares of Apple and Twitter right before the billionaire couple announced their divorce

·1 min read
Bill and Melinda Gates in February 2019
Bill and Melinda Gates in 2019. Elaine Thompson/AP
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sold all its shares of Apple and Twitter earlier this year.

  • In early May, Bill and Melinda Gates announced plans to divorce.

  • The foundation's trust sold the shares for hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Weeks before Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce in early May, the foundation bearing their names sold off hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of stock in Apple and Twitter.

Securities and Exchange Commission filings from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, first reported by Barron's on Sunday, revealed that the foundation's trust had sold its entire stakes in Apple and Twitter as of the end of March.

Since the divorce announcement, about $4 billion in stock has been transferred from Bill to Melinda. Bill is one of the world's richest people, with a net worth estimated at about $146 billion.

Read more: He took his boss' money and then his head, police say. The disturbing story of the assistant accused of murdering and decapitating a tech CEO in New York.

Bill and Melinda reportedly don't have a prenuptial agreement and are relying on a "separation contract" to divide assets. A prenuptial agreement establishes a contractual agreement in the event of a divorce, but a separation contract is less formal - it's a legal agreement that stipulates each party's rights and obligations, like child support and custody, that doesn't involve a court.

The Gateses' divorce filing said their marriage was "irretrievably broken" and asked that their assets be split according to the separation contract.

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