Bill and Melinda Gates sold shares in Apple and Twitter ahead of divorce announcement

Several weeks before announcing their divorce in early May, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sold hundreds of millions of dollars in shares on Apple and Twitter.

Barron’s reports that according to documents filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it sold all of its shares in the two tech giants by the end of March.

The charity group has also taken a position in South Korean e-commerce company Coupang.

At the end of 2020, the Gates Foundation held one million Apple shares, but all of them were gone by March 31.

Barron’s notes that Apple stock has underperformed the market, with stocks down 8% in the first quarter, and up 2.7% so far in the second quarter.

In comparison, the S&P 500 Index rose 5.8% in the first quarter and 4.6% so far in the second quarter of 2021.

The trust also sold 272,420 Twitter shares in the first quarter, closing its investment in the social media platform.

Twitter stock has outperformed Apple, up 17.5% in the first quarter, but so far in the second quarter, it is down 14.4%.

The foundation declined to comment on stock transactions at Barron’s.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has an endowment of nearly $ 50 billion and donates approximately $ 5 billion annually to causes around the world. Last year, he donated $ 1 billion to fight Covid-19 through the administration of vaccines.

In a statement after the Gates announced their divorce on Twitter, the foundation said the two would remain co-chairs and directors and that no organizational changes were planned.

“They will continue to work together to shape and endorse the foundation’s strategies, advocate for foundation issues and set the overall direction of the organization,” the foundation said.

Still, there are fears that the couple’s split will impact not only the foundation, but the wider philanthropic world, given its size and influence.

Since they announced they would end their marriage, approximately $ 4 billion in stock has been transferred from Bill to Melinda.

The founder of Microsoft is still one of the richest people in the world. His net worth is estimated at $ 146 billion.

With reports that there is no prenuptial agreement between them, they are said to be relying on a “separation contract” to divide their assets.

Such a contract is much less formal than a prenuptial contract, stipulating the rights and obligations of each party, and does not involve a court.

A prenuptial contract is a contract specially designed to be used if a couple decides to divorce.

Mr Gates has found his reputation somewhat tarnished since the divorce announcement, with revelations about a work case in the early 2000s.

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