Bezos, the world's richest man with a current net worth of $137 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index, wrote that "after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as loving friends."
Bezos started Amazon after his marriage to MacKenzie 25 years ago and it was unclear what will happen to the Bezos' ownership of Amazon shares. As of November 28, 2018, Bezos owned 78.8 million shares of Amazon, or 16.2% of the company, worth approximately $130.7 billion.
Amazon shares were up 0.4% to $1,663.00 on Wednesday afternoon.
Matt Cheslock, equity trader at Virtu Financial, spoke to TheStreet about FAANG. Watch below.
Washington State, where the Bezos live, is a community property state in which wealth accumulated during a marriage can be split equally between the two partners. But the two may have another arrangement in place to divide up their assets, and Mackenzie may not want to take the Amazon shares she could be entitled to, if doing so would diminish the value of those shares.
Michael Stutman, founding partner of family law firm Stutman Stutman & Lichtenstein, told TheStreet it was unlikely the Bezos had a prenuptial agreement since 25 years ago, prenups "were not all that common, except among the relatively wealthy." This makes it more likely that the couple would work out their own agreement to divide up their assets.
Even in the hypothetical event that Jeff Bezos had to give up half his ownership of Amazon to MacKenzie, "I do not believe this will have an impact on the stock," Tom Forte, an analyst at D.A. Davidson and Co. told TheStreet. He added, "If [Bezos] owned less than 1% of the stock, he would still have a tremendous influence on Amazon." Simply put, Amazon's success is a function of Bezos' strategic brilliance that he exercises as CEO, chairman and president of the company, rather than the size of his ownership stake, Forte argued.
Here's Bezos' tweet: