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Bezos sells US$2.4 billion of Amazon in second wave this week

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Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin speaks  during the JFK Space Summit, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., June 19, 2019.  REUTERS/Katherine Taylor
Jeff Bezos sold US$2.4 billion of Amazon.com Inc. stock, bringing the amount he’s unloaded this week to almost US$5 billion. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Katherine Taylor)

By Tom Maloney

(Bloomberg) — Jeff Bezos sold US$2.4 billion of Amazon.com Inc. stock, bringing the amount he’s unloaded this week to almost US$5 billion.

Bezos sold 739,032 shares under a pre-arranged trading plan, according to US Securities and Exchange Commission filings, days after he disposed of an identical amount. He said earlier this week in a filing that he plans to sell as many as 2 million shares.

The world’s richest person continues to hold more than 10% of Amazon, the primary source of his US$192.1 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

In the 15 years after Amazon went public in 1997, Bezos sold about a fifth of the online retailer for roughly US$2 billion. The value of his stake has grown to such an extent in recent years that he can now sell relatively small amounts for billions of dollars. Last year he disposed of stock worth more than US$10 billion.

Amazon rallied 76% last year as the Covid-19 pandemic encouraged people to use online shopping. The stock is up 1.1% this year.

The Amazon founder has used equity sales to fund rocket company Blue Origin, while he’s committed US$10 billion to the “Bezos Earth Fund” to help counter the effects of climate change.

Bezos is also due to take delivery of a superyacht being built in the Netherlands that will be 127 meters (417 feet) long, span several decks and sport three enormous masts.

The biggest hit to Bezos’s wealth came after his divorce from MacKenzie Scott, who received a 4% stake in Amazon as part of the split.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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