According to SEC filings, Bill’s investment vehicle, Cascade Investment, transferred approximately $2.4 billion in shares to Melinda on May 3, the same day the couple declared their sudden divorce.
Melinda French is now worth at least $2.4 billion, while Bill’s net worth has dropped to an estimated $128.1 billion from $130.4 billion on Tuesday due to the stock move. Despite the ten-figure move, the Microsoft cofounder is still the world’s fourth richest male.
Melinda issued 2.94 million AutoNation shares and 14.1 million Canadian National Railway Co. shares, valued at $309 million and $1.5 billion, respectively. (The move was first mentioned by Bloomberg News).
According to SEC filings, Bill also gave Melinda 25.8 million shares of Mexico-based Coca-Cola Femsa valued at $120 million and 155.4 million shares of Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa SA valued at $386 million. The latter move was first recorded by the Wall Street Journal.
Bill manages his money through Cascade Investment, a holding company based in Kirkland, Washington, which includes the proceeds from the sale of Microsoft stock. Bill once owned a sizable chunk of Microsoft, but he’s given away (to the Gates Foundation) or sold much of it over the years, leaving him with less than 1% of the business.
Bill and Melinda’s divorce settlement almost definitely includes the stock move. Although it’s unknown if they signed a prenup, Bill and Melinda asked a judge in Washington state to split their assets based on the terms of a separation settlement, which is usually signed when couples are living apart but haven’t separated.
The contract’s terms were not made public. Other properties could have been transferred to Melinda in non-public transactions by Bill.
Bill Gates’ spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. Melinda’s representative did not respond to a request for comment right away.