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Divorce is a horrible affair for anyone involved, but Bill Gates' $1.8 billion (£1.29 billion) parting gift to soon-to-be ex-wife Melinda must have softened the blow slightly - for her, anyway.
The couple announced their separation earlier this week, but on the same day, 3 May, Bill's investment vehicle, Cascade Investment, transferred $1.8 billion worth of stocks to Melinda, according to SEC filings.
According to Forbes, it means that Melinda is now worth at least that amount, with Bill's worth falling slightly to $128.6 billion (£192 billion) - I'm sure he'll manage though.
It means that even after the transfer, the Microsoft co-founder is still the fourth richest person in the world.
The investment company is used to manage his money, which includes his Microsoft shares. But over the years, he has given away or sold most of his stake, leaving him with less than one percent.
Although it's not clear if Bill and Melinda signed a pre-nup all those years ago, it's thought that the stock transfer will be part of the couple's divorce settlement.
It's unknown if other assets were transferred to Melinda in non-public transactions, Forbes reports.
They announced their shock split after 27 years of marriage.
The Microsoft co-founder said he is proud of what he and Melinda have achieved over nearly three decades.
Posting a joint statement to Twitter, the tech billionaire wrote: "After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.
"Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.
"We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.
"We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."
They founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which states its aims as 'improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty in developing countries'.
The Foundation has also invested billions of dollars in fighting infectious diseases and getting vaccines to children in need.
The couple met in the late 1980s, when Melinda joined her soon-to-be husband's Microsoft firm, before marrying on 1 January 1994. They have three children.
More recently, Bill has declared his concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, warning that the world needs to be better prepared for future pandemics.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: bill gates
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