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Bill Gates Had $1.8 Billion in Stocks Transferred to Melinda Gates the Day She Filed For Divorce

When it comes to Bill Gates and Melinda Gates’ divorce, the attorney we consulted on the terms of Melinda’s filing, Leslie Barbara of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, said it best: “No one is going to suffer here on a financial front.” On Monday, the Gates’ sent the world into a tailspin with their announcement that they were separating after 27 years and intended to continue their joint work on the Gates Foundation, after which TMZ uncovered documents revealing Melinda had filed for divorce that day. Now, new documents have emerged reminding us just how much money may be moving around as the tech billionaire with a $129 billion net worth and his wife, the founder of the largest private charity organization in the world, go about divvying up their empire. On the same day that Melinda filed a divorce petition citing a marriage that was “irretrievably broken,” a staggering $1.8 billion in stocks were reportedly transferred from one of Bill’s companies to Melinda’s name.

According to documents obtained by TMZ, investment firm Cascade Investment LLC owned by Bill Gates sent Melinda “more than 14 million shares of Canadian National Railway Co. and more than 2.9 million shares of AutoNation Inc.,” which totaled a worth over $1.8 billion per Wednesday’s stock prices.

While the timing of this stock transfer might be odd if Melinda’s filing happened the very same day she decided she wanted a divorce, everything about their separation so far indicates that’s not the case. From the oft-referenced separation agreement in Melinda’s court documents to this timely transfer, everything suggests that Bill and Melinda have been quietly orchestrating the separation of their lives behind the scenes — potentially for months now.

In her filing, Melinda declined both spousal and child support from Bill and requested that their assets be divided according to a predetermined separation agreement. While their marriage did not include a prenuptial agreement, it appears that the ex-couple took the time to reach a settlement before going public with their split.

Bill and Melinda raised three kids together over the course of their marriage: son Rory John, 21, and daughters Phoebe Adele, 18, and Jennifer Katharine, 25, the latter of whom recently spoke out about her parents’ split on Instagram.

“Hi friends,” she wrote. “By now, many of you have heard the news that my parents are separating. It’s been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family. I’m still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as family members at this time, and am grateful for the space to do so.”

Here’s hoping the rest of their separation goes as smoothly as this first under-the-radar transfer of billions.

Before you go, click here for all the celebrity splits and divorces we never saw coming.
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