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Gates’ split of $127bn: The most expensive divorce in the world

After separating from Bill Gates, Malinda now owns more than 6 million shares in Nasdaq Dubai listed Orascom Construction.

The world’s most shocking and talked-about divorce has so much more to than an affair with a Microsoft employee. As the fortune’s split is under discussion, everyone would like to be a fly on a wall during that meeting.

After getting a divorce from Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates now has a stake in one of Egypt’s biggest construction companies.

Melinda French Gates, thus, directly holds 6.52 million shares in Orascom Construction, which represents 5.6 percent of the company’s ordinary issued share capital. A transfer of shares was done on May 10, from Cascade Investment to Melinda French Gates.

Orascom Construction is listed on Nasdaq Dubai and on the Egyptian stock exchange. Melinda French Gates also has an indirect interest of 263,408 shares, representing 0.2 percent of the ordinary issued share capital, of Orascom Construction held by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, of which Melinda French Gates is a co-trustee.

Along with Bill, Melinda had through the years built up sizeable exposures in multiple industries, many with a sustainable focus. It was also the foundation that they set up that played a key role in the downfall of the once-mighty private equity group Abraaj.

This is not the first messy divorce the world has witnessed, there has been a recent expensive ‘uncoupling’ before too.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and then-wife MacKenzie Scott announced parted ways in 2019 and Scott took $38 billion – her net worth now is $6.1 billion. Bezos, by the way, is the richest man on the planet.

Very rarely do these elite divorces avoid involving money before parting ways.

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